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October 7, 2014

Ze Zhang


5‑7, 6‑3, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in Chinese.

Q.¬† I\'d like to ask you, your first set, you won it.¬† Can you explain for us why the next two sets you didn\'t perform so well?¬† What do you think are the main reasons for your loss?¬† Also, comment on your partnership with Wu Di yesterday in the doubles.¬† One set was 6‑3 and the other set was 6‑0.¬† Explain that to us a little bit.

ZE ZHANG:  First of all, in terms of singles, I put up a good game.  I didn\'t think I put up a particularly bad performance for the second and third sets.  Shanghai Masters is an opportunity for me once in a year.  I want to go through and make a breakthrough every time.

All of my components are awesome.  I do my very best in preparation for the second and third sets.  I think probably that\'s because my energy is a bit low.  I didn\'t have enough time for full readjustment.  For the third set, I had a bit of a stressed leg.

In terms of doubles, yes, the second set we lost pretty fast.  I think mostly because me and Wu Di, since our preparation for the Asian Games, we have yet to pair up as a doubles team ever since, and our opponents were also very good, the Australian Open winners.

The first set was pretty close.  The second set, I think our opponents just brought out their best game.  They were very meticulous in terms of their technique.  That\'s why we were not able to beat them.

Q.  I\'d like to ask about your upcoming schedule.

ZE ZHANG:  I think I will fly back to Nanjing tomorrow, take a break for a week, then I will fly to Shenzhen for the China championships.

Q.  You are ranked 190.  Are you satisfied with your performance this season?

ZE ZHANG:  I think it\'s a bit less than my expectations.  Earlier I also talked with my coach that many of the games I competed in previous competitions, I put up a good performance, but eventually I didn\'t win.

I think I need to come up with some more courage and more confidence.  I should try to find more ATP 500s, more ATP 1000s so I can fight these top players so I can bring out my best performance and hopefully I will improve even faster looking forward.

Q.  Because you were in the Asian Games, you were not able to compete in some previous tournaments.  Now you have to compete with the top players immediately.  Are you disappointed?

ZE ZHANG:  In fact, I\'m not.  When I was competing in the Asian Games, I\'m fighting on behalf of the country, so I\'m very proud.

Now, the first competition I come to face with is an ATP 1000.¬† It\'s pretty top‑level games.¬† It\'s actually good for me because I will have the opportunity to face the top players.¬† I think I\'m still really far from bringing out my best game.¬† I\'m quite disappointed that I didn\'t win today.

Q.¬† Just now you said that the Shanghai Masters is a once‑in‑a‑year opportunity for you, a rare opportunity for you.¬† I\'d like to ask you if this helps you in terms of your career development?

ZE ZHANG:¬† There\'s only nine ATP 1000 tournaments, and in China there is just one, here in Shanghai.¬† Therefore, it\'s significant for me.¬† It\'s a once‑in‑a‑year opportunity for me.

I value such opportunities very much.  I also hope that I could make a breakthrough at such an event.  But I didn\'t obviously, so I feel a bit of shame.  Hopefully next year I will put up a better fight.

Q.  Last year\'s Masters was very special for you because you were with Federer in the doubles.  Did you meet up with him and have a chance to talk with him?

ZE ZHANG:  Unfortunately I have yet had the opportunity to talk with him.  He\'s a big brother.  I hope I can have a conversation with him, learn more from him, and hopefully his experience, his best performances could teach me some good lessons.

Q.¬† Just now you said that you have some good performances, but at critical points you were not able to make a breakthrough.¬† You mentioned for the following games you would summon up some more courage.¬† Does that mean you\'re scared at these top‑level competitions?

ZE ZHANG:¬† Personally I hope starting from next year I will continue to pick some high‑level, big‑skill games just so I will see the top‑seeded players, look at them face‑to‑face without thinking of the fact that they are top 100 or top 50, then I won\'t be intimidated.¬† I will feel more familiar.

Q.  You mentioned the word \'breakthrough\' quite a number of times.  What is this breakthrough you\'re talking about?

ZE ZHANG:  Which means hopefully I will break through into the top 100, break myself through into the top 100.

Q.  The Japanese player Kei Nishikori made it to a very top level.  Some fans say he\'s a big source of inspiration.  What is your opinion?

ZE ZHANG:  I think Kei is one of the first Asian players to fight into the tournament finals.  There\'s certainly some pressure.  Hopefully he could transform such pressure into motivation.  I hope I will work more diligently like him.

I think he\'s incredible.  He won the title in Tokyo.  He\'s really a good role model for all of us to follow.

Q.¬† Just now you mentioned the top 100 or top 50 players, you\'re not so familiar with their faces yet.¬† You did out‑compete Gasquet before.¬† In the Australian Open you had a good performance with some top‑level players.¬† I\'d like to ask you, would you draw some experience from your previous successful record?

ZE ZHANG:  When I\'m saying I\'m not familiar with these people, it\'s not that I don\'t know them by face.  It\'s more that I hope I can get used to practicing with them, competing with them, get used to fighting them.

Yes, last night I did remember some of my competition with Gasquet.  But I think today I did put up a good performance, but I wasn\'t able to win in the end.  It\'s a shame.

Q.  You know exactly what it is like to be a professional player.  Recently there is a book published by Novak Djokovic about diet and routine.  Are you doing the same?

ZE ZHANG:  You\'re right, I also follow some rigorous routine and diet.  My diet is critical.  For example, I can\'t eat too oily stuff.  I can only eat vegetables or fruit.  I have to sleep at a fixed time, not too late.  This is something a professional player must observe, of course.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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