Zheng Qinwen ‘wishes she was a man’ after menstrual cramps ruin French Open dreams

Zheng Qinwen in action

It is often a taboo subject in women’s sport, but Zheng Qinwen was not afraid to reveal that she suffered from menstrual cramps during her defeat to Iga Swiatek at the French Open.

Playing at Roland Garros for the first time, Zheng has enjoyed an excellent run as she beat two-time Grand Slam winner Simona Halep en route to reaching the last 16.

And it looked like she would get another big scalp as she stunned world No 1 Swiatek to take the opening set via the tie-breaker, but then crumbled in the second and third sets to eventually go down 6-7 (5-7), 6-0, 6-2.

After the match the 19-year-old opened up about her “girl” problems.

“It’s just girl things,” Zheng said.

“The first day is always so tough and then I have to do sport and I always have so much pain in the first day.

“I couldn’t go against my nature. I wish I can be a man so that I don’t have to suffer from this. It’s tough.”

The world No 74 also struggled with a leg injury, but that was “easy” compared to the menstrual cramps as she simply ran out of steam.

“I got really pained stomach and I try my best, but it’s just, in the second and third set, I couldn’t, I didn’t have power to scream one ‘come on’ even and it was really tough,” she said.

“I want to fight, I really, really wants to fight, but I just don’t have power and it was really tough. I couldn’t show my tennis today in the second and third set, even in the first set, I’m really not happy with my performance.

“The leg was, it was also tough. That compared to the stomach was easy … If I don’t talk about today, I’m happy with my performance all this run. To play against the No. 1 in the world, I feel really I enjoy on the court. If I don’t have my stomach, I think I could enjoy more, like to run better and to hit more harder, to give more effort on court.

“It’s pity that I couldn’t give that what I want to give today. I just want, the next time I play against her, I have perfect shape and go for the next fight.”