Former world No. 18 Andreas Seppi says he doesn't know how he managed to overcome wildcard world No. 224 Zhizhen Zhang and progress into the quarterfinal at the inaugural Zhuhai Championships. Zhang, 22, was on the verge of a shock win but he failed to realize any of his five match points as the 35-year-old Italian used all of his knowledge and experience to edge out the Chinese.
After recovering from a break down in the third set to force a tie-break, world No. 74 Seppi saved four consecutive match points to level the tie-break at 6-6 before winning three points in a row from an 8-7 deficit to save the fifth match point and later convert his second match point.
"I don’t know how I won the match in the end, because I was also struggling a little bit physically and everything, especially at the beginning of the tie-break," Seppi told the ATP Tour after edging out Zhang.
"I just tried to play until the last point and it worked out today. Of course it was a little bit of luck, but if you don’t fight until the end, it wouldn’t happen. So I’m happy about that — also because I was really down with the energy — that I managed to fight until the end and it paid off today."
After a two-hour and 43-minute battle against Zhang, Seppi faces next No. 2 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat Pablo Andujar in straight sets to reach the Zhuhai quarterfinal.