World No 15 Zheng Qinwen admits she is ecstatic about the prospect of potentially facing Novak Djokovic in a mixed doubles match at the United Cup. Zheng, the top-ranked Chinese female tennis player, will start the 2024 season by representing her nation at the second edition of the United Cup in Australia.
In Group E, China will be battling against Serbia and the Czech Republic. In Perth, 21-year-old Zheng is expected to team up with Zhizhen Zhang. Since world No 1 Djokovic has confirmed his plans to represent Serbia at the United Cup, Zheng could potentially meet the record 24-time Grand Slam champion on the court in three weeks.
Zheng on potentially playing Djokovic in a mixed doubles match
"You know the first time I heard we will play against Serbia, that was a shock for me. (I thought) no way! I haven't had a chance to play against Novak Djokovic – I'm super happy, honestly, to play against Serbia.
I never had a chance to play any mixed doubles, not as a childhood time, not as a junior team, and also I don't have time (currently) – I don't really focus on those doubles. But I think United Cup mixed doubles is also one of the important parts and I think I will need some practice with Zhizhen Zhang to get some good connection together, to be able to play doubles.
That will be so fun honestly for fans to watch, because also for me, it's one of the biggest fun to play mixed, especially (against) one who is world No.1 and creates the huge history. For the moment I've been thinking more of the singles in Olympic Games, but of course, if we have that connection in the mixed doubles in Australia, we will obviously talk about Olympic Games for the mixed doubles (at Paris 2024)," Zheng told the United Cup website. It remains to be seen if Zheng will indeed get a chance to clash against Djokovic in a mixed doubles match.