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Injury ends Zheng's hopes of repeating Australian Open success

Zheng Jie, who turned professional in 2003, is China's number two female tennis player behind Li Na.
Zheng Jie, who turned professional in 2003, is China's number two female tennis player behind Li Na.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Zheng Jie will not play in January's Australian Open due to a persistent wrist injury
  • The world No. 26, who has not played since September, made announcement on Twitter
  • Jie reached the semifinals in this year's tournament, losing to runner-up Justine Henin
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(CNN) -- Chinese tennis star Zheng Jie will miss January's Australian Open due to a persistent wrist injury.

The 27-year-old has not played since she reached the second round of the U.S. Open in September due to the problem.

"It's a hard decision for me to make," she wrote on social networking website Twitter. "But I believe there will be more Australian Opens for me to attend if I can regain my health."

The injury means the world number 26 will not be able to improve on her impressive showing at the 2010 event, when she was beaten in the semifinals by Belgium's eventual runner-up Justine Henin.

The tournament has happy memories for Zheng, who won one of her two grand slam doubles titles there in 2006.

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In 2008, Zheng became the first Chinese player to reach the semifinals of a grand slam tournament, losing to Serena Williams in the last four at Wimbledon.

The following year she became the first woman from her country to be ranked in the world's top-15.

She has since been overtaken by compatriot Li Na, who ended the 2010 season ranked 11th after also reaching the semifinals in Melbourne last January -- the first time two Chinese players had done so in the same grand slam -- and later winning her only final on grass in England.

The Australian Open is the first major event of the tennis season, and the outdoor hardcourt tournament begins on January 17 at Melbourne Park.