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Zhang Zhizhen wins two matches on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals in Naples.

Zhang Approaching Chinese History

26-year-old up to No. 96 in Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings

Zhang Zhizhen is approaching history.

The 26-year-old on Thursday reached the quarter-finals of the Tennis Napoli Cup to climb to No. 96 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, putting himself in position to become the first Chinese man to crack the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings (since 1973) on Monday.

“I think it is a tough road to be Top 100,” Zhang said. “I’m so happy for today because I played two matches today and it is a small step, but it’s also a big step for Chinese men’s tennis.”

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If Zhang defeats Mackenzie McDonald on Friday in the quarter-finals, he will be break into the Top 100 on Monday regardless of other players’ results for the rest of the week.

A win against McDonald would also make Zhang the second Chinese man to advance to a tour-level semi-final in the Open Era (since 1968). Pan Bing made the Seoul semi-finals in 1995.

“[I will] just be prepared like a normal match again because it is just a tennis match,” Zhang said. “So I’ll try to be better because I need to be recovered [from] today. I’ll do everything to prepare and be ready for tomorrow.”

Did You Know?
Zhang won two matches on Thursday to reach the last eight in Naples. He completed a 6-4, 7-6(8) victory against Hungarian Marton Fucsovics before eliminating Sebastian Baez 7-6(5), 7-6(11).

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