China’s Zhang Zhizhen Suffers Defeat in ATP250 Kitzbühel
In a surprising turn of events, Zhang Zhizhen, China’s “first brother,” was unable to maintain his lead and lost in the second round of the 2023 ATP250 Kitzbühel men’s singles. After winning the first set, Zhang Zhizhen couldn’t sustain his momentum and was defeated by former US Open champion Tim in a thrilling 1-2 reversal.
Zhang Zhizhen showcased his exceptional skills in the first set, dominating Tim and taking a commanding 5-0 lead. Despite Tim’s efforts to save face, Zhang Zhizhen effortlessly secured the set 6-1, leaving spectators astonished by his performance.
However, the tides quickly turned in the second set. Tim fought back, breaking Zhang Zhizhen’s serve and building a 4-1 lead. Zhang Zhizhen managed to catch up, securing his serve and closing the gap to 2-4. Ultimately, Tim won the set 6-3, tying the game at 1-1.
The final set saw Tim continue his strong play, breaking Zhang Zhizhen’s serve and establishing a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen fought to keep up but struggled to match Tim’s dominance. Tim ultimately secured the set 6-2, winning the match 2-1 and completing a remarkable comeback.
Zhang Zhizhen’s loss comes as a disappointment after his impressive performance in the recent Hamburg 500, where he reached the semi-finals. With such high expectations surrounding him, Zhang Zhizhen aimed to continue his success in the Kitzbühel competition. However, his sudden drop in form puzzled both fans and analysts alike.
Tim, the experienced Serbian veteran and former US Open champion, made it clear that he was not an easy opponent. In the first round, he defeated the formidable qualifier Bagnis 7-6(3)/7-6(6), showcasing his skills and determination.
This was not the first time Zhang Zhizhen and Tim faced each other. Back in 2019, they played against each other at the China Open, with Tim emerging victorious in straight sets. Zhang Zhizhen hoped to avenge this defeat in their latest encounter, but unfortunately, he fell short.
Zhang Zhizhen’s loss serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of sports. Despite his early success in the match, he was unable to maintain his performance, ultimately falling to Tim’s relentless determination. Nonetheless, Zhang Zhizhen’s achievements in recent tournaments have demonstrated his potential and established him as a rising star in Chinese tennis.
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