Zi Yan is a Chinese female professional tennis player from Sichuan, China. She was born to Yan Chang Ming, father, and Meng Xiu Mei, mother, on November 12, 1984. Her mother introduced her to tennis when she was just 6 years old. However, neither her father nor her mother actually plays tennis. Aside from tennis, Zi also enjoys swimming and plays basketball.
Although Zi turned pro in 2003, she was already playing the first events of her career on ITF Circuit in the People’s Republic of China. She played her first Tour singles in 2002 at Shanghai. She then won seven doubles titles in the same ITF Circuit.
Zi had her breakthrough season in 2006, playing doubles. This was when she won six Tour doubles titles with her partner Zheng. These include the first Grand Slam titles for China at the Australian Open, and at Wimbledon. Other titles were from wins at Rabat, Berlin, New Haven, and ‘s-Hertogenbosch. She made a doubles Top 10 debut on the 15th of May of the same year. Her best singles result was garnered at the semi-finals at Rabat where she lost to Shaughnessy. On January16, she made it to the Top 100, making the jump from No. 101 to No. 88.
Zi is right-handed, and mostly plays two-handed on both sides. She is currently coached by Jiang Hung-Wei.
All through her career, Zi has been able to reach her highest ranking of No. 4 together with her partner Zheng Jie. As for her singles career-high, she has been able to penetrate the Top 50 by landing on No. 40. She has a record of 16 ATP titles, 15 of which have were doubles titles, and 2 from the doubles titles were Grand Slams.