After winning her first career title in Guangzhou, China’s Zhang Shuai says she has benefited from breaking away from the Chinese Tennis Federation. Like compatriots Li Na, Peng Shuai, Zheng Jie, and Yan Zi, Zhang now hires her own coaches and trainers and is responsible for planning her schedule and travel.
The Chinese media has dubbed the players’ decision to part from the Federation as 'Flying Alone.'
"It is no doubt the most memorable time in my life," Zhang told the Xinhua news agency. "I hope today's victory will be a new start for me, not a destination. I know there will be many troubles ahead of my journey of 'Flying Alone.' In the past I was an employee, but now I am the boss. I should be responsible for all the team expenses. I can only earn more when I win more. I am experiencing a huge shift, not only in tennis, but my whole life. 'Fly Alone' is not easy. I am enjoying happy moments (but) also painful ones."