Zhu Lin was in total disbelief after stunning Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open as she asked the Melbourne crowd if all of this was just a dream.
On Friday, world No 87 Zhu upset sixth-seeded Sakkari 7-6 (3) 1-6 6-4 to progress into the Australian Open round-of-16.
“I mean honestly, am I in a dream? I have to believe in myself that I have the ability to be able to play at this high level. Who knows what’s going to happen? You never know,” Zhu said after the match, per WTA Insider.
“I mean honestly, am I in a dream?”
“I have to believe in myself that I have the ability to be able to play at this high level. Who knows what’s going to happen? You never know.”
Zhu | #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/Kg5yq1j6sY
— wta (@WTA) January 20, 2023
After Sakkari dominated the second set, it appeared that the Greek would go on to make a comeback.
But Zhu kept her focus and managed to escape with the biggest win of her career.
“There was a lot up and downs. Even sometimes I think about maybe I’m not good enough for tennis. I think about retire sometimes. But my family, my friends, they always talk to me. They believe I can be a better player, so they pushing me every day to become a better person. So I’m really appreciating,” Zhu revealed, per the WTA website.
Zhu fended off Sakkari
After easily losing the second set, Zhu started the third set with a break in the very first game of the set.
But Sakkari refused to quit as she broke back Zhu in the sixth game to tie the third set to three games apiec.
After blowing an early break, Zhu broke Sakkari again in the ninth game to open a 5-4 lead and give herself a chance to serve out for the match.
In the 10th game, Zhu realized her first match point on her serve to complete a three-set win.
“I just keep telling myself, it’s just one break and then I need to put more for serving and be aggressive, trust myself. That’s all I tell myself, and be relaxed. Enjoy the stadium. Enjoy the crowd,” Zhu revealed.
Zhu plays Victoria Azarenka next.