By: Asia Business Outlook Team | Saturday, 30 September 2023
Zhang Zhizhen, a Chinese tennis trailblazer, won the country's first men's singles gold medal at the Asian Games in nearly 30 years on Sept 29, beating Japan's Yosuke Watanuki 6-4 7-6(7) in Hangzhou. Zhang, the first Chinese man to break into the top 100 in the global rankings, rallied from 4-1 down in the opening set to win the match when Japanese number two Watanuki double-failed on a set point in the tiebreaker.
When Watanuki fired wide, Zhang threw his racket away in celebration and walked around the court covered in the Chinese flag as home supporters exploded. It was China's first men's gold medal since Pan Bing won back-to-back titles in 1990-94.
"It's been a very, very tough week, not just this match, but very tough for the whole week actually, from the first match onwards," Zhang stated.
"But I'm super happy that from the beginning of the first match, step by step, I've played better and better tennis."
Zheng Qinwen of China won the women's singles title on Friday, defeating compatriot Zhu Lin 6-2 6-4.