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October 12, 2015

Ze Zhang


M. KLIZAN/Zhang Ze
7‑6, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Chinese.

Q. Please comment on today's match, especially the first set. What do you think about this match?
ZE ZHANG: Yes, I was really looking forward to my first win in Shanghai. I prepared a lot for meeting Klizan. At 2‑2, I broke, then he broke, too. When we met in the tiebreak, I had a little problem in serving. I didn't make full use of my serving capabilities.
In the second set, I found that Klizan was very much relaxed and he made a lot of good shots. The gap between me and him was quite apparent in the second set.
I feel very disappointed and very sorry for not winning again in Shanghai. I'm looking forward to the next matches in the future.

Q. In the first set it took 58 minutes to get the first set points, but then just two minutes to lose afterwards. What were you thinking? Was the loss in the first set impacting you in the second set?
ZE ZHANG: I know there were a lot of subtleties in that match. The one that has the better form wins, especially the player that can protect and defend his own serve wins.
I feel that Klizan was more aggressive than me in my service games. In the second set, I was also trying to be more aggressive. However, I found that Klizan was even more relaxed than he was in the first set. That's why I think you see the results as they are.

Q. Once you said two years ago you were in your best form. Today, when you compare yourself to two years ago, what has changed?
ZE ZHANG: Yeah, two or three years ago, in 2012, I was of course younger, and my body was in the best situation. On the court I would not feel tired after two or three hours of running on the court.
Now that I'm getting a little bit older, of course I want to keep the best form, so gradually I focus more and more on practicing the details, the improvements of my skills.
Off the court, I pay more attention to the diet, to my physical exercise, to a lot of things.

Q. You played all three tournaments in Asia this year, Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai. Can you comment on this year's performance in Asia? What are your future plans?
ZE ZHANG: Before the Asian season started, I was expecting that I could improve my skills and have better results in this year's Asian season. I also hope that from these three big tournaments, I can adjust my mentality, my confidence level so that you can get more wins in the future matches and hopefully a higher ranking.

Q. You know that everyone in China has their attention on you. You're the current No.1 player in China, so a lot of people are expecting you to have a very good performance. What are your expectations of yourself?
ZE ZHANG: Yeah, I think I have to try things that Chinese players have never done before. I know that a lot of people are looking at me, including the fans, the media, my family, my friends.
There are ups and downs in my career, but I still hold a strong belief, and I never give up. Although I'm not having sort of a breakthrough performance or high ranking yet, I think there are still chances for me to live out my dream. This will continue to be my objective.

Q. Could you introduce your team? What does the team help you with?
ZE ZHANG: Yeah, I still have the foreign coach with me. He's with me. No other people can really help me, only me and my coach.

Q. Just now you mentioned you want to fulfill your dreams. What is your ultimate dream regarding playing tennis?
ZE ZHANG: Yeah, of course, top 100 in the world. When I was a kid, my dream was to be playing in the four Grand Slams. Now that dream has come true. So ultimate dream for now is to be in the top 100.

Q. It's already October 2015. I'm wondering if you have a schedule or a plan for next season?
ZE ZHANG: I'm not thinking too much about the next season yet. I still hope that I can play each match well in the remainder of this season. There are still some matches to play. I hope that I can elevate my ranking by the end of this season. Only by then I will consider the things for next year.

Q. Just now you mentioned you only have one foreign coach. For any professional player that may not sound sufficient. What do you need the most, what kind of resources do you need the most now?
ZE ZHANG: Yeah, of course I need financial support. The salary of that coach is paid by the province. The coach's traveling expenses when he's with me for the different matches, I pay for that. I'm always looking for sponsorships. I need financial resources.
But that comes to the question of whether I can perform well in the matches to get the sponsors' attention.

Q. Do you have moments that you feel very low and disappointed about yourself?
ZE ZHANG: Yes, I do. Because I'm getting older, this is a fact. Every match, I pay a lot to be in the match. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I come back to the court, I feel that tennis is my dream, tennis is my everything. That's why still there are a lot of difficulties and I will not give up.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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