Get a Hartford Courant subscription for less than 29 cents per day

Alize Cornet

On brink of quitting, Chinese player finds key to winning

Zhang Shuai went eight years without a victory at a Grand Slam tournament. Now, within a span of two days, she has two.

Zhang has turned her career around at the Australian Open with a shocking upset win over No. 2 Simona Halep in the first round and another victory on Thursday against France's Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-3.

When Zhang's ranking fell to No. 200 last year, the Chinese player considered walking away from the game. She had only won four main draw matches all year and had come up short at the Grand Slams again, extending her winless streak to 0-14.

"So very tough. I was feeling very sad every day," she said. "I almost retire."