10/4/12 2:45 PM | Ricky Dimon
Richard Gasquet's winning streak comes to an unlikely end as he goes down to Chinese wild card Ze Zhang on Thursday in Beijing. Next up for Zhang is a surprising quarterfinal against Florian Mayer.
One of China's own is through to the quarterfinals of the China Open, and it's none other than world No. 165 Ze Zhang.
Zhang pulled off the biggest win of his life on Thursday afternoon, taking out in-form Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes. The wild card finished with six aces and three double-faults while converting all three of his break-point opportunities.
There was just one break point in each of the first two sets. Zhang had the upper had in the first and served it out at 5-4 for an early lead. Gasquet, who captured the Bangkok title last Sunday, responded by dropping a mere six points in five second-set service games.
With momentum in hand, Beijing's No. 5 seed broke immediately in the decider and consolidated it for a 2-0 advantage. Zhang, however, broke back for 2-2 and eventually ended the match in style with his third break of the day at 5-4.
"Today I had no fear," Zhang explained. "I was very much relaxed. I wasn't that nervous, so I tried my best to play with the utmost performance."
"I had chances to win this match and I made bad mistakes," lamented Gasquet. "He's talented. He plays aggressive and fast, and at the end he played better than me. He deserves this victory."
Zhang will contest his first career ATP quarterfinal on Friday against Florian Mayer. The German got past Marius Copil, another wild card, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday.
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