Fans support Qinwen Zheng after she opens up about menstrual cramps during French Open match

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 (Getty Images)
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Chinese tennis player Zheng Qinwen has been praised on social media after speaking candidly about her menstrual cramps during a French Open match against Iga Swiatek.

At the event on Monday, 19-year-old athlete Zheng played the fourth round against Swiatek, who won 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-2. The match was the Polish tennis player’s 32nd win and advanced her to the quarter finals.

While speaking to reporters at the tournament, via CNN, Qinwen noted that while she had no pain at the start of the game, she had to take a medical time out during the second match. During the break, she got her back massaged and put a strap on her right thigh.

“Yeah, the leg was also tough,” she said. “That compared to the stomach was easy…I cannot play my tennis, [my] stomach was too painful.”

Zheng then elaborated on how her pain was a “girls’ thing,” as she had gotten her period.

“The first day is always so tough and then I have to do sport and I always have so much pain on the first day. And I couldn’t go against my nature,” she explained.

“I wish I can be a man on court, but I cannot in that moment,” she continued. “I really wish I can be [a] man [so] that I don’t have to suffer from this.”

However, she acknowledged that she was still pleased with how she performed throughout the entire match.

“If I don’t talk about today, I’m happy with my performance [on] this run. And to play against the number one in the world, I felt I really enjoyed (it) on the court,” she said.

She also said that if it wasn’t for her cramps, she felt like she could have put “more effort” in during the game.

“If I don’t have my stomach [pain], I think I could enjoy more, like to run better and to hit harder, to give more effort on court. It’s a pity that I couldn’t give what I wanted to give today,” she added. “I just want [it so that] next time I play against her, I [am in] perfect shape.”

According to her official player profile, Zheng is ranked 74 in the world and has played 15 matches this year.

On social media, fans have applauded the teenage athlete for being so open about her physical health.

“Being a woman and a sportsperson must be mighty hard,” one twitter user wrote. “It is wonderful that players like Qinwen Zheng are speaking up about issues like menstrual fatigue.”

“Was not present in her presscon but really great from 19-year-old chinese Qinwen Zheng to be honest about her menstrual cramps during the match,” journalist Jannik Schneider tweeted.

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