"Despite only one week, she has improved a lot since we met last time. She is very young, but she has got everything on the court. Last time in Strasbourg, she didn't go into the game so quickly and played not so steadily. But this time, I can feel her confidence has boosted after winning two rounds at a Grand Slam," said Zhang, who defeated Burel 6-3, 7-6(3) in the Strasbourg Open before coming to Paris.
Although only ranked No. 357 in the world, the 19-year-old Burel has proved herself in junior competitions as the Rennes-born rising star reached two Grand Slam Junior finals and won the silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018, when she became the junior world No. 1.
The corresponding men's 200m, Sinesipho Dambile upset the pre-race favorite Arthur Cisse of Cote d'Ivoire to win the event in 20.44 seconds. Cisse crossed the line 20.53 seconds ahead of Danish's Tazan Kamanga.
"We will always pay attention to the development of brilliant Chinese coaches, club management and youth talents, in order to contribute more for the long-term development of Chinese football," the club said.
Head coach Li Tie expressed gratitude for the CSL clubs and the players' participation. "They have endured intensive games and training for 70 days, which was very tough, but they made it through. I myself once took part in a lot of training camps with the national team and I understand they might want to spend more time with their family during the break," he said.
"I think I played a really good match. I was very aggressive. I knew from last year I had to change something, so I really wanted to be better than last year and definitely, I was today," said the world No. 2.
In the first set, Shandong and Tianjin traded leads from the offset. After Shandong's Sun Jie left the court through injury, Tianjin leveled the score 15-15 and then took the set 25-21.
"It's been long ride definitely. Everything came to my mind when I had my whole family, people who I loved to help me through the tough, tough time," said Kvitova. "I was just playing in the Philippe Chatrier, it was such nice to win the match and to be in the quarterfinal."
Burel wasted three set points when she took a 5-3 lead in the first set and stormed to 40-0 in the ninth game. But Zhang battled back to save all three, and held the serve before breaking Burel's in the tenth to level the score at 5-5.
"She played really really well today. I think everything is tough. My ball is very short and she opened the court very nice and used very nice winners," said the world 39th-ranked Zhang, who has also achieved a personal best at Roland Garros by reaching the fourth round.
Li shot 12 of 14 from the field to finish with 28 points, along with 14 boards, in Inner Mongolia's wire-to-wire victory, leading five players who finished with double-digit in points.