China's Zhizhen Zhang confident he has game to compete at highest level


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China's Zhizhen Zhang confident he has game to compete at highest level

Rising Chinese star Zhizhen Zhang believes he has the ability to compete at the highest level. Zhang, who received a wildcard into the China Open, stunned 2018 Australian Open semifinalist Kyle Edmund in his Beijing opener.

The 22-year-old Chinese showed great mental strength and toughness to edge out the big favorite Edmund 6-4 3-6 7-6 (5) in two hours and 19 minutes of play. "I feel like I have the ability to compete with these players," Zhang said after kicking off his Beijing debut campaign with a win, per China Open/Twitter.

Zhang, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 213 in the world, started the match with a break and then held on to his serve to win the opener. After saving a break point in the fifth game, world No. 34 Edmund claimed the lone break of the second set in the following game to force a decider.

As no more breaks of serve were seen -- the third set had to be resolved in a tie-break -- in which Zhang led from the start until the end. Zhang now awaits the winner of the match between No. 1 seed Dominic Thiem and France's Richard Gasquet.

Last week, Zhang beat Dominik Koepfer in the Zhuhai Championships first round, before missing out on a great chance to beat Andreas Seppi in the round-of-16 as the Chinese blew five match points against the Italian.