Rising star Zhang Shuai wins China derby at China Open
Updated: 2013-10-01 12:01
Zhang Shuai returns to Peng Shuai in the first round match of the 2013 China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, Sept 30, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]
Zhang, who won her first-ever WTA title in career in the just-concluded Guangzhou women's tennis tournament earlier this month, continued her surging form at the China Open and made short work of her national and Tianjin teammate Peng at 6-3, 6-3.
Zhang, with a series of outstanding performances recently, has lifted her ranking to her best-ever 66th, and in the opening match, the 24-year-old had two convincing breaks in each of the two sets, while Peng, this year's Wimbledon women's doubles winner, was out of sorts throughout the whole match and never found a way to test her opponent.
Since three weeks ago, Zhang has won over higher-ranking players.
"I'm working pretty hard, I just give my best. This is what I'm doing in the past three weeks," Zhang said.
"You know my goal this year, first of all, I would push to top 100. Already scored this goal. The second goal is I'm going to top my best ranking, which is No 73. After that, my next goal is to break into top 50.
"I hope to realize that goal. Of course I'm expected to be in top 30, top 10, even world No 1, but it takes time.
"Rome was not built in a day. I hope to bring my best performance. Those are my future goals," she added.
Tianjin, a port city of East China, is a major stronghold for Chinese tennis, boasting some top female players inluding Peng, Zhang, Duan Yingying and Zheng Saisai.