Zhang Zhizhen into Top Eight & Goffin Outduels Donskoy to Progress
5 singles and 5 doubles matches of 2017 Shenzhen Open were held in Longgang Sports Center on Wednesday from 2pm.

The first match in center court was between Swiss player Henri Laaksonen and Romanian player Marius Copil. World No.107 Laaksonen took 127 minutes to upset World No.83 Copil 4-6/6-4/6-3 in their first clash, becoming the first player to make the singles top eight of the tournament this year. It is also remarkable that Laaksonen has eliminated 7th seed Sousa in the first round.

Laaksonen said after the match, “He played well in the first set. It’s really tough to break out there. So I just have to try to keep on doing my own staff and focus on my own game. I was able to do that and started to play better. It’s the second quarterfinal for me. I’m really happy with it.”

The second match in center court got much attention. The 20-year-old Chinese qualifier Zhang Zhizhen defeated 4th-seeded Italian player Paolo Lorenzi 4-6/6-3/7-6(4), moving into the quarterfinal in ATP World Tour for the first time in his career and for the third time among Chinese players. His previous best record was reaching the second round in 2015 Shenzhen Open.


Zhang Zhizhen played quite aggressively during the match, with 12 aces and 1st serve points won as high as 78%. Each broke twice and Zhang got only one point more than Lorenzi in total points won.

At the match point, Zhang Zhizhen courageously decided to serve-volley and sealed the victory with a nice volley. The whole match lasted 2 hours 28 minutes.

Ranked No.495 this week, Zhang Zhizhen is the only Chinese player in the draw now, with four straight wins since qualifying competition. He will take on Laaksonen for a place in final four on Friday.

Besides, with the 57 points this week so far, Zhang Zhizhen has moved up 142 spots to No.353 in live rankings. His ranking will further rise if he reaches the semifinals.

In the following match, 2nd seed David Goffin, who had a bye through to the second round, beat Russian player Evgeny Donskoy 7-6/6-3, advancing to the final eight. The 26-year-old Goffin is current World No.12, and has clinched 2 titles in his career. This season, he made it to the last eight in the Australian Open, and reached top 10 in the World Rankings. Although the accidental injury in the French Open kept him away from Wimbledon, he came back stronger, not only advancing to the fourth round in the U.S. Open, but also leading Belgium to the Davis Cup final.


After the match, Goffin said that different from Europe, it was very humid here and very hot even at night, so that he just focused on his own performance, especially serves, and kept on fighting till the end.

In the final match in center court, the 8th-seeded American player Donald Young defeated French player Jeremy Chardy 7-6/6-4 to move into the last eight.

The last match in the first round of singles was held in No.2 Court. The 6th seed Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia Herzegovina needed only 77 minutes to outlast Australian player John Millman 6-4/7-5. At the age of 25, Dzumhur clinched his first ATP World Tour title in St Petersburg last week. He was also the runner-up in Winston-Salem this year, and knocked out Stan Wawrinka in Dubai. He will play against Slovakian qualifier Lukas Lacko in the second round.

Damir Dzumhur

The following three matches in No.2 Court were all first round doubles. Indian pair Leander Paes/Purav Raja withdrew from the match at 2-6/0-1 down, and the 2nd-seeded Austrian and American combination of Alexander Peya and Rajeev Ram advanced to the last eight. The Brazilian/Israeli pair Andre SA/Dudi Sela sealed a hard-fought win over Czech/Dutch combination of Roman Jebavy/Matwe Middelkoop 7-5/5-7/13-11. German rising star Alexander Zverev, paired up with famous doubles player Marcelo Melo of Brazil, as the third seed, defeated Hans Podlipnik-Castillo/Andrei Vasilevksi of Chile and Belarus, 7-6(5)/6-4.

Alexander Zverev/Marcelo Melo

In the first round doubles held in No.1 Court, German/Croatian pair Andre Begemann/Franko Skugor defeated 4th seed, Wesley Koolhof/Artem Sitak of Netherlands and New Zealand, 7-5/7-6. Top seed, Croatian and American combination of Nikola Mektic and Nicholas Monroe came from behind to win Spanish/Portuguese pair David Marrero/Joao Sousa 4-6/7-6/10-7.