Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Day 2 Action: Qualifier Zhu Lin defeated no. 16 seed Elise Mertens 5-7 6-4 7-5 in a two hour 58 minute marathon.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Tough, grinding match. Each set you had a bit of a lead. How did you mentally focus to get that win?
ZHU LIN: I think when I was 5-3 in the first set, I kind of like, Oh, I’m 5-3. I kind of forgot what I have to focus on. Then after I lost my first set, I think, I have to focus on what my coach tell me, play my tennis.
She’s a competitor. She always fight until the end of match. I really happy that I’m the winner today.
Q. How nervous were you towards the end?
ZHU LIN: I’m really nervous, be honestly. It’s very important match for me. Well, I just keep focus on the ball, watch the ball, that’s it.
Q. Did you watch any of her matches last week in Doha? What did you think when you saw her name next to your name on the draw?
ZHU LIN: I watch her little bit. I know how she play because we play last year once, and I lost. I know it’s always going to be tough to play against her. Yeah, prepared before this match, and I talked to my coach. Yeah, we done very well.
Q. Did you sense she was getting a little tired at the end?
ZHU LIN: Yeah, I think we both tired because I been play like six matches, including last week. I’m little bit can’t focus at the end.
Q. It’s the best win of your career, rankings-wise, I know you beat Kvitova, but what does this win mean to you?
ZHU LIN: I mean, I think I finally break the top 100. It’s mean a lot for me. I been working on this goal for, like, few years now. I finally done it. I’m so happy right now. There’s no word can describe how happy I am.
Q. You’ve been a player that obviously in China everyone has focused on a lot since you were young. That’s a lot of pressure, especially after Li Na. Can you talk about what has been the toughest thing about being a player that everyone was talking about all the time, then to actually have to do it?
ZHU LIN: I think you just have to block all the information from Internet. I just don’t watch it any more because sometimes they send you good message and sometimes they send you very negative message.
I focus on the things I have to do, yeah.
Q. What has been the key for you?
ZHU LIN: Just hang in there and work harder every day. Yeah, I think I will achieve my goals someday. Yeah, and I did it.
Q. What has been the hardest thing, the biggest obstacle the last few years?
ZHU LIN: Of course, sometimes you lost some stupid match and you don’t even know why. That’s the most depressing, yeah. I think you just have to hang in there no matter what happen.
Q. Will you do some kind of special recovery after a match like this?
ZHU LIN: I think I need ice bath (smiling). Then I eat something, yeah.
Q. Do you pay attention at all to what the other Chinese players are doing? Obviously Wang Qiang had a good fall last year, Zhang Shuai had the title. Does that motivate you or inspire you?
ZHU LIN: Yeah, it obviously motivate me. I think it’s good when Chinese player can play such a good tennis. I believe I can do that, too, yes. I’m working on that.
Q. The Chinese players I think more so than some of the other countries, the success comes later. Other countries, it’s 18, 19, 20 years old.
ZHU LIN: Yeah, I think I still young (smiling).
Q. Do you think about that, that it’s okay?
ZHU LIN: Yeah, I’m still young. I just start my career.