Zheng Jie happy to be out of China’s state system
Zheng Jie is happy with her first year of self-management despite the extra effort and lack of security it entailed.
Zheng was managed by the China Tennis Association during the first 6 years of her professional acreer and and she had to pay 65 percent of her winnings for the privilege now that she manages herself she just has to pay 8 percent.
The China Tennis Association’s chief Sun Jinfang said recently that she thought Zheng was in decline and, like other “less talented and more hardworking” players, would be better off back inside the national system.
Zheng said it was inevitable that the first year of managing herself would have been a learning experience.
“I am one of the first to try this and in the first year, I crossed the river feeling the stones,” Zheng said. “My obligation is to try my best to get good results. As to whether I am suitable for self-management, I am not sure what is the standard we judge by, ranking or prize money?”
Before all her playing schedule, travel, equipment and coaching arranged were organized and paid for by the CTA, Zheng must now sort it out for herself.
“It is even more tiring to train myself,” he added. “In the past when I was young I was only told by the coach and leaders what to do. Now I am grown up, I choose my own tournaments. Now I think more about wanting to play well. I am playing for myself.”
Zheng said that also there was a potential downside in the loss of security.
“Self management means great freedom as well as great risk,” she said. “For example, I made good money in 2009, but I have to maintain my performance every year to ensure my income.
“There will be a big loss if I drop in ranking or injured. In the past, such loss would be taken by the state system.”