His run ended in the second round of the ATP Beijing tournament to Andreas Seppi. The South Tyrolean, who hopes to end the season for the first time in his career in the top 30 in the world, lost to Sam Querrey 6-1, 6-4. He had won three of the four previous meetings, including the only indoor (Bercy 2007).
Querrey thus reached the quarterfinals for the first time in Beijing and remains in front of the race. In addition, he is projected to rise to at least No.22 in the rankings: Monday will be the American No.2 in the U.S. behind John Isner.
Seppi played tennis too risky in the first set without being able, however, to control enough shots. The result? He wanted to close the trade early, wanted to look for the lines and close with a one-two, which ends only to multiply the errors and gift point for Querrey in three breaks before losing the first set with just one game.
The match, albeit against a different opponent, seems to follow the script of the final lost against Tsonga in Metz. The Italian still lost the service, with the additional gift courtesy of a double fault on break point, and extended Querrey to a 6-1, 3-1 lead.
The American squandered two balls during the double break but had trouble keeping his tours of duty. The surprise of the day was the signing of Ze Zhang. Since he has been supported by Guillaume Peyre, who took Baghdatis to the final of the Australian Open.
The number one player in China has achieved his best ranking (165) and has thus become the player with the highest ranking in the history of men's tennis in China. "Peyre taught me a lot, made me understand what is the right routine for a professional tennis player.
For example, I do not have to take a shower immediately after the match, but do therapy and massage before." This year, Zhang has surpassed the record of Pan Bing (176) that stood for 17 years and reached the quarterfinals for the first time in an ATP tournament.
He did it at home in Beijing, against Richard Gasquet, who was once coached by Peyre between 2008 and 2009. It certainly will not be any indication in non-Ze, fielded aggressive and without any hesitation. He attacked from the start and took home the first set 6-4.
The central part of the match is more favorable to the Frenchman that ended the second set 6-3 and took the lead with a break at the beginning of the third. But once again the inertia changes, Gasquet is forced to retreat, to play defense and Zhang gained the control with a break in the fifth game while maintaining an impeccable conversion rate of break points (3/3).
Defending the lead until the end he sealed the victory with an irresistible 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 backhand winner at the first opportunity. He got the first career victory against a top-20 at the third attempt after losing to Ljubicic, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, during 2010 in Shanghai and Tsonga, 6-3, 6-4, here in Beijing twelve months ago.
In the quarterfinals he will face Florian Mayer. Zhang, who in the first round he beat the number 2 in China Wu, who was a quarter finalist at the Australian Open juniors in 2007, is the national champion in office. Big improvements this year are the result of the opening of the Chinese Federation to coach abroad.
Since 1988, when tennis returned to the Olympic sports scene, the regular practitioners increased from one million to 14 million. But the investment, decided at the state level have focused on women's tennis, the small group of girls that could have Olympic medals in Beijing 2008 and it is a model that reflects the policy of investment in sport in the Soviet Union or East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The relationship between courts and politics in China is not yet resolved. It is enough to confirm the declaration of Li Hongzhong, head of the Communist Party of Hubei Province, the birthplace of Li Na, after his triumph at Roland Garros.
"The victory was the demonstration of his competitive spirit and the superiority of socialism under the leadership of the Communist Party of China." Openness to foreign coaching is a first step. In addition to the arrival of Peyre in February, Carlos Rodriguez, who has worked with Justine Henin since 1996, has also opened an academy in Beijing with the brand 6th Sense.
"It is not easy for foreigners to quickly adapt to an environment so unfamiliar," said Timothy Nichols last year, which followed Peng Shuai and worked from 1990 to 2000 for the Japanese federation. Sometimes, in fact, language and cultural barriers require more time to be absorbed.
In Tokyo out with a surprise was Juan Monaco. The Argentine, seeded fourth, was defeated by Baghdatis, ranked No.46 who won the match 7-5, 1-6, 6-3. For Cypriot it is the first career win against Monaco. Baghdatis fought back well to beat a top-10 player after a year and a half (the last victory against Murray in Rotterdam 2011) and reached the quarterfinals for the fifth time this season.
Tipsarevic has no problems with Chiudinelli (6-4 6-2). Berdych is the 50th victory of the season against Falla. The Colombian, 48, this year was able to defeat two top-10 players (Fish and Isner at the Australian Open and Wimbledon) gives 6-3 7-5.
It lasted just three games, finally, the match between Raonic and Troicki after the Serbian retired under 3-0 in the first set.