Tournament Director Michael Luevano today announced that Roger Federer will team up for doubles with China’s No.1 ranked player Zhang Ze at the multi-award winning Shanghai Rolex Masters, 6 to 13 October at Qi Zhong Stadium.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Zhang and we are truly delighted that Roger agreed to play with him,” said Michael Luevano. “The atmosphere will be quite special at Qi Zhong and will definitely prove to be a lot of fun for the fans and I am quite sure the two players as well.
“We know that Roger does not play a lot of doubles through the year so having him take to the doubles court in Shanghai is a wonderful addition to what is already shaping up to be a fantastic week of tennis.
“I have talked with Roger and Tony Godsick his manager, for a few years about playing doubles in Shanghai, it is just amazing that Roger has chosen to play with a Chinese player. It is a great testament to his affection with China and his Chinese fans, he really could have played with anyone.”
Zheng, 23, is the highest ranked Chinese male player on the ATP World Tour at 180 in singles and 334 in doubles. The Nanjing resident is certainly excited about the prospect of teaming up with the tennis legend.
In 2010 Zhang, nicknamed “Big George”, became the singles and doubles champion of China and has been a member of China’s Davis Cup team. He has played the qualifying draw at Wimbledon and the US Open and is coached by American Craig Kardon who has been a coach to several players including the great Martina Navratilova.
Last year at the China Open, Zhang upset Gasquet in the first round and became the first Chinese male player to beat a player ranked in the world’s top 15.
“I know I am going to be quite nervous to be the doubles partner of Roger,” said Zhang. “He is such a big name all over the world and has achieved so much success, he is very, very popular in China and I see this as a big chance for me to get very good experience. I am very excited and I think my whole family will come and see the match.”
This year Zhang has won and reached the final at two Futures events and on the Challenger tour he was a semi-finalist twice, including the recent Road to the Shanghai Rolex Masters Challenger, and a quarter-finalist twice.