1 Jan 2009

Top tennis players leave China's sport system

1:10 pm on 1 January 2009

The Chinese tennis player, Wimbledon semi-finalist Zheng Jie, is relishing her new freedom after being allowed to leave China's state-run sporting system and keep more of her earnings.

The world number 25 has told the China Daily she can create her own schedule and control her time.

The paper says Zheng can keep as much as 92 percent of her prize money, after formerly having to part with up to 65 percent, and could for the first time miss winter training camp to enjoy a holiday with parents.

Zheng, who in July became China's first player to make the last four at Wimbledon, left the Chinese Tennis Association this month to become a free agent on the international tour along with compatriots Li Na, Peng Shuai and doubles partner Yan Zi.