Zhang Celebrates Maiden Challenger Title On Home Soil

Zhizhen Zhang (photo: Jinan Open)

JINAN, September 8, 2019

Zhizhen Zhang has capped his dream week by winning his first title on the ATP Challenger Tour. The World No. 397 from China lifted the trophy of the 2019 Jinan Open held on hard courts at the Jinan Olympic Sports Center.

Zhang, who entered the third edition of the $162,480 event with a wild card and only dropped one set en route to the final, won Sunday’s championship match against No. 7 seed Go Soeda of Japan, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

The 22-year-old Shanghai native struck 10 aces and won 68 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in one hour and 57 minutes.

“I didn’t play very good but, you know, it’s the finals. It’s like this, when the chances are coming you just need to take it. I was doing good today,” said first-time winner Zhang.

“It’s pretty exciting. I wasn’t too nervous ahead of the start of the match, I just wanted to play as good as possible. I am very happy to win my first Challenger title.”

By lifting his maiden trophy, the 22-year-old collected $21,600 in prize money as well as 125 ATP Ranking points.

On Saturday, Matthew Ebden of Australia and Divij Sharan from India clinched the doubles title. The top seeds fought past Ji Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song of South Korea 7-6(4), 5-7, 10-3. The encounter lasted one hour and 42 minutes.