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Friday, July 4, 2008

Zheng's Donation

Zheng Jie has announced she will donate her portion of
the prize money she earns at The Championships to victims
of the Chinese earthquake in her own Sichuan province
in May, which killed over 60,000 people.

"I will donate my entire portion," Zheng said.
"Apart from that I will do as much as I can to
help the Sichuan region people because I'm from
Sichuan province, as well."

Her efforts in Wimbledon have produced prize money
of £187,500 (US$373,000). After assigning a share
of the prize money to the Chinese tennis federation,
her remaining portion will go straight to a cause
close to her heart.

"Going back to China after Wimbledon I will do more
charity work and encourage more people to come and
support the stricken region, and I hope people from
Sichuan will have their new homes as soon as possible."

The news of her donation has received widespread media
coverage in China,which is just over a month from hosting
the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Zheng, who will be celebrating her 25th birthday today
(Saturday), has surprised the tennis world by reaching
the semifinals at Wimbledon, and she has broken records
along the way: ranked No.133 in the world, she is the
first Chinese player to reach the semifinals of a Grand
Slam, the first wildcard to get so far in the Wimbledon
ladies' singles event and only the second player ranked
outside the Top 100 to get to this point in the tournament.

Having won the doubles title at Wimbledon in 2006 with
partner, Yan Zi, she believes there has been much more
support for her this year.

"It was very exciting in 2006 but it was also during the
same time as the World Cup football and it wasn’t received
as sensationally as a football match. But Wimbledon is a
very historical tournament, and it has far reached affection
in China."

Zheng was surprised at being told that she was the first Chinese
player to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam singles tournament
and has had huge support from her country where her quarterfinal
victory over Nicole Vaidisova was watched by millions of TV viewers
in the early hours of the morning.

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