China's Zhang Zhizhen seeded at Wimbledon despite losing Halle semis


KUNMING, June 22 (Xinhua) -- China's Zhang Zhizhen lost to Italy's Jannik Sinner 6-7, 7-6 (3) on Saturday, missing out on the finals of the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle, Germany.

This encounter marked the first time Zhang and Sinner had squared off in a tournament.

Zhang had stunned third-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5) on Wednesday, before enduring a marathon battle with America's Christopher Eubanks to prevail 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to reach the semifinals.

Although Zhang's dream of his first grass-court tour final was cut short, a promising update arrived from London during his match against Sinner.

For the upcoming Grand Slam in Wimbledon next month, this week's final rankings will serve as the benchmark for seed player selection. The top 32 players will automatically qualify as seeds, ensuring a direct path to the main draw.

Zhang's live ranking surges to 33rd, while his main rival on the rankings, Australia's Jordan Thompson, lost to Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Cinch Championships in London.

Meanwhile, 25th-ranked Jiri Lehecka has announced to quit Wimbledon. As a result, Zhang will become the first Chinese male player to secure a seed position at Wimbledon.

Sinner will next face Hubert Hurkacz, Poland's former Terra Wortmann Open winner. Having advanced to the final on Saturday, Hurkacz stands just one victory away from clinching his second title in the tournament. He overcame World No. 4 Alexander Zverev in an exciting match, prevailing 7-6 (2), 6-4.

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