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October 5, 2015

Ze Zhang


THE MODERATOR: Questions in Chinese.

Q. What are the key things that helped you win the match?
ZE ZHANG: I'm feeling extra confident whenever I come to the China Open. Beijing is a place of luck for me. I prepared very well for this match.
I know Denis very well and I played him two times in Davis Cup. Before the match last night, I saw some videos of his match and I did some preparation for strategy today.
I'm really pleased that in the third set I didn't lose any service games. I was really playing hard to get every point.

Q. Is it because you've played a lot of matches this season?
ZE ZHANG: I started with the challenger matches. As for a mindset, it has been an issue for me in the China Open. In the first round, 2‑4 in the third set, I fought really hard. I didn't lose too many points when I was behind. This is a very good improvement.
But I have to keep this mindset going since every match is different. I hope in every match that I can play really solid. I cherish every opportunity and learn some positive things from every match.

Q. In the next round you might meet Novak. When you're meeting a top player like this, do you feel unlucky or is it an opportunity?
ZE ZHANG: After I saw the draw, I knew that I would meet first a qualifier and then Novak. A lot of people say, Cheer up, I hope you can meet Novak. If you are a tennis fan, you know even playing a qualifier isn't easy.
What I was focusing on was the first round. I'm really happy. I'll prepare for the next match. I know Novak is No.1 in the world. I will watch his videos and I will just enjoy this match.

Q. In the second and the third set, actually you were broken in the first game. People were cheering for you. Do you feel more support on your home court?
ZE ZHANG: Every year I come to the China Open, I feel the positive support from the crowd. It's definitely very positive. When you're feeling down and you hear the cheering, it's really good. It actually helps you to reach the peak of your performance.

Q. In Shenzhen, you lost. The left hand serve is really good. Denis actually beat this opponent. Did you actually learn something from your opponents?
ZE ZHANG: In the Chinese team, we're really unified. We always share with each other what we have learned from previous matches. I actually talked to one of the Chinese players and he actually told me what are the strengths and weaknesses of my opponent. He told me this opponent is very consistent. That's how I was preparing for today's match.
I was a little bit inconsistent. I was preparing for a third set.

Q. In your generation, a lot of players have been like this: you might have a breakthrough in one match, but it's hard to keep the consistency. At this stage of your career, what are your expectations and goals? How long will you wait for the breakthrough in your career?
ZE ZHANG: I have encountered this question many times, and I always answer that I would like to have a breakthrough. I would like to get into the top 100.
As I'm getting older, my ranking hasn't improved that much. Now that we're in the Asian season, I cherish every opportunity, in Shenzhen, Beijing, I cherish every match, every opponent. I get a wild card into every event.
No matter what happens, I try my best. Even if I lose, I have to perform my best, at 100%. For these matches I will get more established, more mature. Starting from the Australian Open next year, I'll start afresh.
This year, playing a lot of matches, I would like to help myself adapt to high‑level matches.

Q. We have three Chinese players having some breakthroughs. A lot of them don't have sponsors. Only you have a sponsor for your racquet. The other two don't have sponsorship for racquets. Do you think that people have really low expectations for men's tennis in China? Do you see any positive changes so at least some of them may get more sponsorship?
ZE ZHANG: I will renew the contract this year for my sponsorship. To be really frank, everyone has racquet sponsorship, but the sponsorship might be good or bad. Some people may not even want to renew the contract. I have been with this sponsor for five or six years. I've never considered any other options. I just want to keep using this racquet.
Regarding sponsorship, it is a big issue for men's tennis in China. People are waiting for one player to achieve a breakthrough. I think better results will attract good sponsorship.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. What do you hope to learn from your match tomorrow with Novak?
ZE ZHANG: (Through translation.) I will try my best to prepare for the match. I will check his videos. Is he playing today or tomorrow? I will go to see his match tomorrow just to learn.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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