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October 4, 2012

Ze Zhang


Z. ZHANG/R. Gasquet
6‑4, 3‑6, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in Chinese, please.

Q.  Congratulations to enter the third round.  From the first set you have better control of the rhythm.  Since the second set you are a little bit in rush.  You're not that patient.  What might be the reasons, or probably you have something has happened to your mentality after you win the first set, or what kind of advice did you get from your coach?
ZE ZHANG:  I think we have a very good start since I win the first set.  In the second set I'm a little bit in rush or impatient because I don't hold my service.
If you want to play against opponents like this one, if you don't follow him closely, and then probably my opponent, well, again his momentum, that's not easy for me to follow him closely.
With regard to the strategy that I got from my coach, actually, my coach used to coach him two years ago.  My coach know his weakness better and his backhand is not that good.
But even his backhand is even better than forehand.  So that has already give me a lot of opportunity to control the game.  That's why today I play a lot against his forehand.

Q.¬† Today you played three sets and eventually win, but prior to that you said you can try to fight against a high competent player like this one but the match is really short.¬† But today you win the game.¬† What do you think might be the reason for you to play against such a high, competent, high‑profile opponent?
ZE ZHANG:¬†¬† This year actually I play a lot of, you know, high‑profile tournament.¬† This give me a lot of opportunity to play against the high‑profile opponent.
So once you play frequently with them, you will be gradually familiar with them.  Today I have no fear.  I'm very much relaxed.  I'm not that nervous, so I'm going to try my best to play with utmost performance.

Q.  Today you win the match, which your opponent
is ‑‑ you actually win the opponent which have highest world ATP ranking.¬† That's a very good performance.¬† Also, people are talking about the professional career of the junior players in China, so my question is:¬† What might be the right ideal ranking for you to choose to be individual player?
ZE ZHANG:  Actually, for female player we have some individual players, such as Li Na, etcetera.  For male players, if one can penetrate into top 100, then the chances will be very much high.

Q.  Do you have more chances to penetrate into top 100?
ZE ZHANG:  Yes, I have much confidence in this regard.

Q.  I want to ask you a question.  Actually, this victory is a historical one.  What had happened when you go to the lounge?  I know Ms.Sun talked to you.  What did she talk to you about there?
ZE ZHANG:  Chinese players need to win a match like this one, which is, you know, we find we defeat a highly competent opponent.  What I'm doing is just to repeat what I have already prepared days ago, that is to say, I'm just concentrate on every single match and every single day's training.
With regard to actually ‑‑I didn't talk to Madame Sun, but Mr.Li.¬† Director Li talked to me.

Q.  Today the spectators on the side are very much high today.  Do you think that really influenced you or give you a lot of encouragement?
ZE ZHANG:  Well, that's a very good opportunity for a player like me to play as host.  I think that's good news.

Q.  Congratulations for your victory.  We know that actually your performance has a big contrast in the past two years.  You have a big breakthrough today.  Also, your performance have sort of a leap forward.  You are coming to a new starting point.  Standing at a point like this one, I think your pressure is not only trying to have one step further, but most importantly, how are you going to try to keep this ranking?
ZE ZHANG:  You are right that this is a new start.  I don't think this is pressure.  Just opposite.  I think this is very important, very important driving force for me, because the most matches you are supposed to win, the more points you are going to get and more high ranking you will get.  You don't have to highly concentrate on those things.

Q.  We notice that before you win the last point, we noticed that you point to your heart and talk to yourself.  What kind of information did you talk to you or hint to you?  What kind of hint do you give to yourself?
ZE ZHANG:  Well, at his service game, he has a second service.  You can tell easily that Gasquet is very much nervous.  I told myself that I have to seize this very good opportunity to give him a lot of pressure.  I'm going to try to win every single point.
But I didn't think that what I'm going to do, what if I'm going to win this match.  I just concentrate on the match at that moment.

Q.  Can you tell me something about your coach.  What change has your coach given to you?  What kind of advice or improvement has your coach given to you?
ZE ZHANG:  Actually, my coach always give me confidence.  You know, actually, my coach tell me that you are not always belonging to the players that belongs to top 300 or top 400.
He give me a lot of confidence.¬† What I have to do is to improve my physical fitness.¬† If I'm physically strong enough ‑‑if I don't have very good physical fitness, even if I am going to win the first set, then I will probably not be physically strong to sustain to the last two sets.
Also, he help me to make analysis into the strategy for each and every single match.  For different opponent we have to introduce different tactics.  This will help me tremendously.

Q.  Today what might be the reasons for this victory?  Is it coming from advice from your coach which have a better understanding of your opponent, or it is because of your performance have tremendously improved?
ZE ZHANG:  I think both of them are very much important.  The first, Gasquet coach have already give me a lot of guidance in terms of the strategy and tactics.  But for me, starting from last year, I'm becoming more and more confident to win.  I really want to win the match to play against high, you know, high, qualified opponents like this one.

Q.  When we talk about players and individual players, you have to contact with sponsor and agents, something like that.  Did you ever try to employ an agent to look after those things for you?  And also, you are not professional player right now.  But actually, today, to my understanding, the Chinese Sports Administrative Center has a very strict regulation for national team players wearing earrings.  How do you address this issue?
ZE ZHANG:  With regard to the agent, actually for my ranking, it's very much early for me to think about this issue.  If I have very good performance, definitely some people will approach me proactively.  What I'm going to do is concentrate on the match.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English.

Q.  Can you tell me why you appointed the coach that you have and if you felt you needed to look outside China?  Did you feel you needed a foreign coach?
ZE ZHANG:¬† I think because the foreign coach can provide me with something more enlightening, just like my coach right now who has already coached a lot of high‑profile players before.
So what he's supposed to bring me will be very much different from the one I can get domestically.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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