China's Zhang Ze makes history at China Open
Updated: 2012-10-04 21:06
BEIJING - World No. 165 Zhang Ze of China had a history-making 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Richard Gasquet of France in men's singles second round at China Open here on Thursday, becoming the first Chinese player to advance into the third round in any ATP tournament.
"I think we have a very good start since I win the first set. In the second set I'm a little bit in rush or impatient because I don't hold my service," said the 22-year-old Zhang.
In the opening round, Zhang, who is playing in the main draw here for the second straight year, defeated his compatriot Wu Di 6-4, 6-1.
This match had been expected to be an easy one for the fifth seed Gasquet, who is ranked No. 14 now and won his 7th career ATP World Tour title at Thailand Open in September.
However, the first set did not move through as what Gasquet expected. Both players held serve in first six games. After winning his own serve, Gasquet had a lead at 4-3. Supported by home crowd, Zhang won the next three games in a row to win the opening set.
The Frenchman had a break earlier in the second set and set up a comfotable 3-0 lead. Gasquet, the former top 10 player, maintained the advantage of the single break before claiming the set at 6-3.
Gasquet continued his momentum in the final set and had a 2-0 lead. Zhang then rallied with a three-game winning streak to overtake the lead by 3-2. After both players took their serves in the following four games, Zhang broke the Frenchman in the tenth game to seal the victory.
"This year actually I play a lot of, you know, high-profile tournaments. This gives me a lot of opportunities to play against the high-profile opponents," Zhang said.
"Today I have no fear. I'm very relaxed. I'm not that nervous, so I'm going to try my best to play with utmost performance," Zhang added.
Up against Zhang will be Florian Mayer of Germany, who edged past wildcard Marius Copil of Romania 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday.