Rising tennis star Zhang wins China derby

Beijing: China`s rising star Zhang Shuai upset veteran Peng Shuai in the first round of the China Open tennis event here Monday.

Zhang, who won her first-ever WTA title in career in the just-concluded Guangzhou Open earlier this month, continued her surging form at the China Open and made short work of her national and Tianjin teammate Peng at 6-3, 6-3.

Zhang, with a series of outstanding performances recently, has lifted her ranking to her best-ever 66th, and in the opening match, the 24-year-old had two convincing breaks in each of the two sets, while Peng, this year`s Wimbledon women`s doubles winner, was out of sorts throughout the whole match and never found a way to test her opponent.

Since three weeks ago, Zhang has won over higher-ranking players.

"I`m working pretty hard, I just give my best. This is what I`m doing in the past three weeks," Zhang said.

"You know my goal this year, first of all, I would want to push to top 100. Already scored this goal. The second goal is I`m going to top my best ranking, which is No. 73. After that, my next goal is to break into top 50.

"I hope to realise that goal. Of course I`m expected to be in top 30, top 10, even world No. 1, but it takes time.

"Rome was not built in a day. I hope to bring my best performance. Those are my future goals," she added.

Tianjin, a port city of east China, is a major stronghold for Chinese tennis, boasting some top female players including Peng, Zhang, Duan Yingying and Zheng Saisai.