Zheng Qinwen: Menstrual cramps derail Chinese teen’s French Open dream in loss to Swiatek

Zheng, 19, looked on track for a big surprise as she claimed the opener in a tiebreak before Swiatek took control and won 6-7(5) 6-0 6-2 for her 32nd straight win.

Zheng said she was in no pain in the opening set but took a medical timeout trailing 3-0 in the second, having her back massaged on the court before going to the locker room and returning with her right thigh strapped .

“Yes, the leg was also heavy. That compared to the stomach was easy… I can’t play tennis, (my) stomach was too sore,” Zheng, 74 in the world, told reporters.

“It’s just girl stuff, you know. The first day is always so hard and then I have to exercise and I always have so much pain on the first day. And I couldn’t go against my nature.”

“I wish I could be a man on the court, but at the moment I can’t…I really wish I could be (a) man (so) that I don’t have to suffer from this.”

Zheng, who made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open this year, said she had tried her best to compete but was happy to have made it through to the second week.

“If I’m not talking about today, I’m happy with my performance (on) this run. And to play against the number one in the world, I felt I was really enjoying it on the pitch,” she added.

“If I don’t have my stomach (pain), I think I could enjoy more, like run better and hit harder, put in more effort on the track. It’s a shame I couldn’t give what I want to give today.

“I just want (so that) the next time I play against her, I’m (in) perfect shape.”

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