Madrid — zhang zhizhen He needed to save three match points in his winning over taylor fritz Tuesday became the first Chinese player to reach the quarterfinals of the ATP Masters 1000 at the Madrid Open.
Zhang came from a set down against the eighth-seeded American to prevail 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(8), winning in a final-set tiebreaker for the third time in the clay-court tournament . in the Spanish capital. It was the first win against a top-10 opponent for 26-year-old Zhang.
“Before the match, you know he is a very tough player. There is no weakness, so (I) tried what I could,” Zhang said. “Then (after) losing the first set, (I) was thinking about trying to play a little closer match. Finally (that) I could win, it’s amazing.”
Zhang, ranked 99, had an upset at number 13 Cameron Norrie in the third round for the biggest win of his career in Madrid. Zhang defeated the 21st seed Denis Shapovalov In the second round. He has played seven tiebreakers overall in Madrid, winning six of them.
In 2021, Zhang became the first man representing China to earn a spot in the main draw at Wimbledon in the Open Era, which began in 1968 when professionals were admitted to Grand Slam tennis tournaments.
China’s biggest success in the field of sports didn’t you, who won the women’s singles title at the 2011 French Open and 2014 Australian Open. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2019.
In February, Wu Yibing became the first Chinese player to win an ATP Tour title John Isner In the final of the Dallas Open. Wu was the first man from China to appear in a Tour final. Last year at the US Open, Wu became the first Chinese man in 63 years to win a Grand Slam singles match.
Zhang will next face former No. 14 aslan kartsevwho upset the second seed Daniil Medvedev in straight sets on tuesday
“Let me tell you a secret,” said Zhang. “We had a practice, I lost 6-0 with Karatsev. I will do my best. Everyone here is a great player, huge player. They all have some very good results. (I) want to do my best. I’ll try to do what I can.”
Zhang is projected to break into the top 50 with a win against Karatsev, which would make him the highest-ranked Chinese man in history ahead of Wu, who was ranked No. 55 earlier this year.