Zhang Ze of China returns the ball during the men's singles quarter final round match against Florian Mayer of Germany at the 2012 China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, China, Oct. 5, 2012.(Xinhua/Guo Yong)
BEIJING, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- China's rising star Zhang Ze missed the opportunity to continue his dark horse run at China Open when he was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Germany's Florian Mayer in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Zhang, who is a wildcard player in this event, became the first Chinese player to advance into the third round in any ATP tournament by dumping out France's Richard Gasquet who is ranked 14th.
However, the 22-year-old failed to keep his optimum form as Mayer, ranked 29th in the world, fired five aces to finish the match on one hour 24 minutes.
"Mayer has a lot of change in the slice of ball, which really destroys my rhythm," said Zhang, "I can't work out effective strategy to fight against him."
After losing the first set, Zhang had the chance to fight the match back when he led by 4-2 in the second set, but the German made some quick adjustments and took the next four games.
"Unfortunately, I don't have a mature handling in terms of the critical ball. That's the single largest gap that I have to me and the world-class players," Zhang said.
This is a successful season for Zhang as he moved from 292nd at the start of the year to 165th currently and became the highest ranked men's player in Chinese tennis history. However, the ambition of this young player is a lot more than that.
"Everybody think that I'm No.1 of the male players in China, but actually internationally I'm not, so I have to move forward to international level," said Zhang.