Zhang Zhizhen (back) of China serves during the ATP 250 men's double final with Tomas Machac at Marseille, Feb 11, 2024. (PHOTO / ATP VIA XINHUA)
PARIS - Chinese Zhang Zhizhen made another breakthrough on Sunday as he claimed the men's doubles title with Tomas Machac at Marseille, becoming the first men's player from the Chinese mainland to secure an ATP Tour doubles championship.
The duo demonstrated exceptional form, overcoming Finnish pair Patrik Niklas-Salminen and Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3, 6-4 in the final to lift the trophy at the Open 13 Provence.
"I'm grateful that I can play with Zhizhen by my side," Machac said. "We are so happy that we managed to win the final for sure. Because if you lost the final, it's always sad."
Zhang Zhizhen (right) and Tomas Machac react during the ATP 250 men's double final with Tomas Machac at Marseille, Feb 11, 2024. (PHOTO / ATP VIA XINHUA)
This victory marks another significant milestone in Zhang's career, which has already seen remarkable success in singles over the past year, including reaching the quarterfinals at the Madrid Masters, advancing to the third round at both the French Open and the US Open, and breaking into the top 50 in the ATP singles rankings.
The 26-year-old is currently the flag-bearer of the Chinese men's tennis team.
Since teaming up with Machac, the pair have quickly made their mark in the doubles circuit, highlighted by their impressive run to the semifinals at the Australian Open last month on their team debut.
"(Looking ahead) I think depend on how we choose tournament, if we had the same week for sure, we're going to get in (doubles)," Zhang said after the final.
The singles final will take place between Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov and French player Ugo Humbert later in the day.
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