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October 9, 2018

Ze Zhang

Shanghai, China


3-6, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Chinese.

Q. It's really a pity that you lost the match. You actually had the opportunity in particular at the very end of the second set. Could you talk about the match? Do you have any psychological changes when you lost the second set?
ZE ZHANG: The past three weeks, I went to quite a few matches. I also played doubles with Gong Maoxin.

I think I have been making progress, although it's really a pity today that I lost the match. But basically I think that I played well. How to say, I don't think there is a big gap between me and the opponent. Before today's match, I tried to play well, but I think I really wanted to win the match today. I tried my best in today's match. My coach has given me a lot of advice mentally and also in terms of tactics.

When it comes to the second set, both the opponent and I didn't make big mistakes, but his serving is really helping him a lot. This is also the case with the third set, the fourth game. So for me I regret that I lost the match. I played well, but I didn't win. That's why I say that I regretted. It's a pity that I lost the match.

Q. You lost some opportunities throughout the match.
ZE ZHANG: Well, actually, I did have a lot of opportunities. The opponent just flew from Tokyo on Monday, and before that he has had seven matches. So that is a good opportunity for me.

But he's really very professional. He's very stable. He's performing consistently. I think this is a very high quality match. The opponent is also very strong. But it's a pity that I lost the opportunity to play with Roger Federer, to see what's the difference between us. I had the thought, but it's a pity that I didn't make it.

Q. Your opponent had very high praise on you. He said that you were playing much better than your ranking is. Have you thought about why your ranking is around 200?
ZE ZHANG: I think except Wu Di and me, we haven't had a lot of high quality male tennis players in China. We are still at the beginning stage. We have been trying to make our way through, attending more and more matches. But I cherish all these opportunities.

Many people pay more attention to younger players. For us, we are faced with less and less opportunities, the opportunity of getting a wildcard.

So I cherish each and every match and opportunity. I think I will make analysis of all the matches.

Q. Everyone knows that you're very good at serving and forehand. You also play doubles this week. Could you talk about the help of playing doubles?
ZE ZHANG: Actually, after Chengdu, we have had a lot of collaboration with the coach. Gong Maoxin and I, our goal is to rely on our rankings to go to Australian Open. So there is still a gap, and it's a pity that we still need to work a lot harder.

As you can see, playing doubles really helped me a lot. I also love my coach who has given me a lot of help technically and also in terms of self-confidence, et cetera.

Q. The media always say that you like to say you feel proud even if you lose the match. How would you say about that?
ZE ZHANG: Well, even if I play very well, it's nothing if I cannot win the match. So I really think that it's a pity. I'm in good shape this week. I have to say that after Chengdu, I felt a little bit tired, and I didn't play singles in China Open in Beijing. I told my coach that I will try my best in today's match.

I have to try my utmost. I did it, but it's a pity that I didn't win. Well, I have to say that I will continue to work hard.

Q. You said that we have more and more younger players. Do you have a sense of urgency now, as you said, that you have less and less opportunities of getting wildcards. You do feel the pressure, right?
ZE ZHANG: Actually, we haven't had any male tennis player in China whose ranking is above 100, but we are all working very hard. Indeed, we always have the sense of urgency, so we have to pursue excellence all the time. Otherwise we feel that it will be very easy that we are replaced by even younger players.

So this is our motivation. I hope that I am getting more and more mature and will continue to work hard.

Q. Over the past few years, Chinese players get more and more opportunities to play important high-level tournaments. However, this good opportunity hasn't been reflected in good ranking or good result. Why is that? Is there anything that we can do to improve the overall level of Chinese tennis players?
ZE ZHANG: I think from the perspective of the tournament, they are already doing their best. It's not necessarily the case that only we Chinese players are given the wildcard. I think that we are already given a lot of opportunities.

So I am very grateful for that. I think the most important thing is to play good tennis and focus on each and every point. Again, it's a pity that I lost the match today, but I will definitely think about it, analyze the match, and then I will continue to work hard.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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