Leading article: China rising

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The Independent Online

Confucius once said: "The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence." We can assume, therefore, that the great Chinese philosopher would have been mightily pleased with the efforts of his compatriot, Jie Zheng, at Wimbledon over the past 10 days. The 24-year-old tennis player, who entered the tournament on a wild card, has been one of its sensations. Despite being ranked 133rd in the world, Zheng has progressed to today's semi-finals, becoming the first Chinese player to achieve this in a Grand Slam tournament. Nor has she followed an easy road. Zheng had to beat the first seed and world No.1, Ana Ivanovic, in the third round.

All this has been followed eagerly back in China. All eyes in Britain have been on Andy Murray, but an estimated television audience of 100 million tuned in to watch Zheng's impressive victory over the 18th seed, Nicole Vaidisova, in the quarter-final.

The formidable Serena Williams now awaits. And who would bet against another act of giant slaying by Zheng? The ankle injury which saw her miss most of the 2007 season has not hampered her thus far. And she has also pledged to donate her prize money to the survivors of the earthquake in Sichuan, the province where she was born.

Win or lose, Zheng has thus paid homage to another article of Confucian wisdom: "Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses."

The people of Sichuan will certainly be unlikely to forget the generosity of their new racket-wielding heroine in a hurry.

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