Zhang Zhizhen made history at the Madrid Open as he stunned American Taylor Fritz on Tuesday to become the first Chinese player to reach an ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal.
The 26-year-old continued his dream run with a 3-6 7-6(5) 7-6(8) defeat of the eighth seed.
Zhang, the world number 99, said the thought of going so far had not crossed his mind.
“I’ll tell you a secret. In practice, I lost 6-0 with (Aslan) Karatsev,” Zhang said. “Here everyone is a great player, huge player. They all have some very good results.
“I just try to do the best that I can do.”
Zhang will get another look at Karatsev after he rattled second seed Daniil Medvedev with his powerful groundstrokes to upset his fellow Russian and clinch a 7-6(1) 6-4 win to reach his first Masters 1000 quarter-final.
Karatsev, ranked 121 in the world, has now beaten world number three Medvedev twice in his career with both wins coming on clay. “I’m feeling great, playing well, I just have to focus every match and be prepared for the next one,” Karatsev said.
After surviving a couple of three-setters, fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas made light of Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles in a late-night clash to reach the last eight, the Greek easing through 6-3 6-1.
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