Rising Chinese star Zhizhen Zhang, 23, admits he didn't think he would end up making it all the way this week at the Shenzhen Challenger. Zhang, seeded at No. 8, overcame fellow compatriot Zhe Li 6-3 4-6 6-1 in the Shenzhen final to lift his second Challenger title of the season.
The 23-year-old run to the title also included wins over Goncalo Oliveira and Go Soeda, while he didn't finish his second round and semifinal matches as his opponents were forced to retire mid-match due to injuries.
"I’m really happy,” Zhang said after lifting the title, per the ATP Challenger Tour website. “I didn’t think I would get it this week, so it’s very nice for me." Zhang, who entered Shenzhen ranked at No.
185 in the world, is set to climb up to a career-high ranking of No. 141. "This title also helps me reach my goal for this season (Top 150). So lots of pressure released from my shoulder now. It is never easy to win any Challenger title," Zhang added.