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October 11, 2009

Shao-Xuan Zeng


S. ZENG/D. Sela
2-6, 6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Chinese, please.

Q. First of all, congratulations. You mentioned that the Chinese players need to be confident, and actually we are not as bad as those top players. What's the key factors for you to win this match today?
SHAO-XUAN ZENG: I think that the key factor today is that, first of all, as I said yesterday, we in China, the male players in China lacked confidence, and I think that the crowd, the cheers are very helpful for me. They're always cheering for me. That's very helpful.

Q. I've noticed that you are very aggressive to the serve from Dudi, and I want to know what you have discussed about the strategy and the tactics before the match.
SHAO-XUAN ZENG: I was not very familiar with this player, so after the first set, I myself changed my tactics a little bit. Indeed, the second serve -- his serve, especially the second serve is a little bit weak, so I want to give some pressure so I want to play good tennis. And also, I think with this, I can have more opportunity to break his serve.

Q. You mentioned just now that Chinese male players are lacking of confidence. While you are No. 396 and he is No. 44, a number much higher ranking than you, do you think that the difference between you two is what your ranking reflected?
SHAO-XUAN ZENG: Well, as you can see in this match, he is around the rankings of about 42 or 45. Maybe you think that this is an easy match, but I've never given up today, so the ranking doesn't represent the real strength of a player. What's more important is I need to prove myself in the court.

Q. I know that in the Heineken tournament you also did a pretty good job, so compared to the previous titles you won and previous matches, is it different in today's match? Ranking doesn't represent your real strength, as you mentioned, but why is this such a difference in ranking?
SHAO-XUAN ZENG: Well, the difference in ranking, first of all, make people feel that while a player is much higher ranking than I, so maybe I will be easily defeated, but this may not be the case in the real court.
I think for Chinese players we don't have a lot of opportunity to attend top-level competitions, so I really hope -- I also want to thank the organizers for giving us this opportunity to have the chance to have a match together with the top players in the world no matter whether we win or lose. I think this will be very helpful for us to find our problems and also to make progress.
And what about your first question? For me, each and every match is very important to me indeed. This is the opportunity by the country, so I will cherish this opportunity. This is not easy that I get the chance to play with the top players of the world. And to win today's match will further give me confidence for my future matches.

Q. (In English) Right now, what's your personal goal in terms of ranking or like to become top 100 player in the world or maybe -- or what's your goal right now?
SHAO-XUAN ZENG: For me, I hope to raise my ranking, of course, specifically as to how far I can go. I don't have that detailed objective, but I hope to have a break-through in the normal rankings of Chinese male players.

Q. Just now you also mentioned that ranking cannot represent the real strength of a player. You also said that you hope to have more opportunities to compete with the top players in the world. What's the reason that Chinese male players do not have the opportunity to play these high-level matches, not to mention ATP 1000 but ATP 250?
SHAO-XUAN ZENG: Well, for us, I think that our rankings in China is about several hundred, 500, 600, so China has given us a lot of opportunities. For me, I will cherish these opportunities. To train or to compete with these players is a very good opportunity.

Q. Well, your next opponent is Tsonga. It's really a top player. Have you thought about that match?
SHAO-XUAN ZENG: I haven't thought about the match. I just want to first enjoy the winning today. But, well, to have one more match is a good opportunity for me to practice and to train, but I will always have the desire to win. That's for sure.

Q. Just now you said that Chinese male tennis players need to have opportunities. Mao-Xin Gong, your colleague, will have to play with Safin for his first match. How would you comment on that? And if you have the chance to choose to whom you work for the doubles, which top player do you want to play with most?
SHAO-XUAN ZENG: Well, I just want to play the match with Roger Federer, and if I have the chance to have a doubles with one, I want to player with Roger Federer, also.
Mao-Xin Gong is in good shape. I hope there will be a very fierce competition with Safin, and maybe he will also win.

Q. When do you feel into this match that you are going to win? And when there are several deuce in the ninth games in the third set, there were several interesting shots, and you were also laughing at that time. What was in your mind at that time?
SHAO-XUAN ZENG: After the first set, I have confidence in myself. I can win him because in the first set, I have a lot of 40 to Love, 40 to 15 and then I was defeated, and then there was a lot of deuce in his serve in the third set when it's 4 to 4. That's a very important set for me. It's not easy to have so many deuce.
I didn't break the serve. That was normal, but so long as I can have calm mind, I think I can win, and in the final I win.

End of FastScripts

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