Zhang Zhizhen earned the biggest win of his career Wednesday when he outlasted World No. 5 Casper Ruud in five sets at the US Open.
The Chinese star survived a thrilling back-and-forth encounter, upsetting last year’s finalist Ruud 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 0-6, 6-2 after three hours, 18 minutes. Zhang delivered an inspired performance, striking 59 winners to become the first Chinese man to earn a Top 5 win since the beginning of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings (1973).
The World No. 67, who also needed five sets to get past J.J. Wolf in the opening round, will next face Australian Rinky Hijikata in the third round.
🚨 HISTORY MADE 🚨
Zhizhen Zhang is the first Chinese man to earn a win over a Top 5 opponent. He defeats Ruud 6-4 5-7 6-2 0-6 6-2.@usopen | #USOpen pic.twitter.com/E28n6P9Ow8
— ATP Tour (@atptour) August 31, 2023
Zhang advances to the third round of a major for the second time in his career, with the other appearance coming this year at Roland Garros, where he lost to Ruud in their first Lexus ATP Head2Head Meeting.
The 26-year-old’s revenge match on the fifth seed is a welcome sight to Zhang after last year’s heartbreak at Flushing Meadows. He let slip seven match points in the first round before falling to Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven in five.
“Last year at the US Open, I can say it was a bad memory. But this year is a little bit different,” said Zhang.
The Resilience Of Zhang Zhizhen: ‘It Couldn’t Break Me’
Should Zhang reach the fourth round, he will have a chance to become the first Chinese male to crack the Top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
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