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Zhang upsets Ruud to become first Chinese man to beat a ATP top-5 player

Updated: 2023-08-31 11:19
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Zhang Zhizhen of China celebrates a point against Casper Ruud of Norway during their men's singles second round match of the 2023 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City August 30, 2023. [Photo/VCG]

NEW YORK - Casper Ruud, the 2022 US Open runner-up, was eliminated Wednesday night when Zhang Zhizhen became the first Chinese man to beat a player in the top five of the ATP ranking.

Zhang upset the No. 5 seed 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 0-6, 6-2 to reach the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the second time. It was his second five-set victory to open this tournament after he lost his first four five-setters.

Zhang became the first Chinese man to compete in the main draw at Wimbledon in the professional era when he qualified in 2021. He qualified last year at the US Open, joining Wu Yibing as the first men from their country in the main draw of the year's final Grand Slam tournament.

The 26-year-old Zhang reached the third round of the French Open in June before falling to Ruud, who had been to the finals in three of the last six Grand Slam events.

Ruud, who lost to Carlos Alcaraz last year in Flushing Meadows, is the highest-ranked Norwegian in the history of the ATP ranking, which dates to 1973. He had reached No. 2 last year and is currently No. 5.

But after dropping the fourth set in just 23 minutes, Zhang broke Ruud's serve to open the final set, adding a second for a 4-1 lead.

He will face Rinky Hijikata of Australia in the third round.


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