Qiang Wang 2019 In Review: China’s No. 1, US Open Breakthrough

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The Chinese No. 1 player, Qiang Wang, started 2019 ranked 20th in the world and will start 2020 ranked No. 30. Yet if one ventures into Wang’s 2019, one would find that she was ranked No. 12 after a stellar US Open. That is a testament to the exciting talent the Chinese is and can be one of the players to follow come 2020.

Qiang Wang in 2019

Best Year By Grand Slam Results

Australian Open – 3R, French Open – 2R, Wimbledon – 3R, US Open – QF

Wang’s best result this year came at the New York Open, where she made the semifinals. Apart from that, she didn’t enjoy much success in other non-Grand Slam events. However, at the four Majors, she was able to put up better performances, ultimately culminating in a quarter-final appearance at the US Open.

The Australian Open saw her reach the third round losing to Anastasija Sevastova, who punished her second serve. The Chinese woman won just 35% of her second serve points in that match. Wang lacks a potent serve, which was her downfall several times in 2019. Armed with a speedier serve, Wang can prove to be a more significant force.

Clay is not Wang’s strong suit, and that showed in 2019. On the slower clay courts, her strokes sit up nicely for hard hitters to take advantage, and that led to a 6-3 6-0 loss to young hopeful Iga Swiatek at the French Open wherein the Chinese won just 26% points on her second serve. Roland Garros was the only Grand Slam where she couldn’t better her result.

Wimbledon saw the Chinese reach the third round again, where she lost to Elise Mertens in a tough three-setter. She served well throughout but was unable to convert a plethora of breakpoints, winning 1/15 of breakpoints.

Tough losses and a drubbing from Serena Williams aside, US Open would surely be the tournament Wang looks back and takes confidence from. Seeded 18th, she took the battle to the No. 2 seed and the French Open champ Ashleigh Barty. She two great sets to win the match 6-2 6-4. It was only her first appearance in the second week of a Grand Slam. Above all signified that the Chinese was capable of beating top players and can produce a string of good matches at the highest level.

Serena Williams ended her dream run in a forgettable match for Wang which saw her win just the one game and 17% points on her first serve. It was a rough matchup for Wang, who was consistently overpowered from the baseline and had no answers to the American’s superior power. However, Wang can only learn from such experiences and has the potential to be a good counter puncher to resist power-hitting game styles.

2020 Outlook

Qiang Wang currently leads a pack of four Chinese women in the top 50 and should lead the charge in 2020. First off, the Chinese has to keep working on improving her serve and being more aggressive with her groundstrokes. She had a fruitful four years under the watchful eyes of her coach, Peter McNamara, who sadly passed away in July 2019.

The Chinese No. 1 should look forward to 2020 with great vigor. She is nearing 28 years of age and even though she is not of the young upcoming players, she most probably still has her best years on tour ahead of her. Qiang Wang has improved by leaps and bound in the last two years, and she has enough matches under her belt to put up a decent 2020 season.

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