The host city’s only singles hope at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open was eliminated at the first stage on Tuesday going down 6-2, 6-2, to mainlander Wang Qiang at Victoria Park.
The 26-year-old Zhang, who had been nursing herself back to fitness in recent weeks following a fractured toe, bowed out in just 75 minutes against the Chinese number two, who is ranked 68 in the world.
— Paul Ryding (@pjrydo) October 11, 2016
In an occasionally sloppy performance, the Hong Kong player threw away several chances to seal crucial points with a series of unforced errors at important junctures in the match.
Watch: Zhang Ling talks about her first-round loss
“I think there was a lot of chances,” said a bitterly disappointed Zhang afterwards. “I had a lot of game points in both sets.
“She’s a good player. For the last few years she’s had good results and deserves the credit. On the other hand, I can see this as a chance for me to get better and challenge for the top 100. I’m very disappointed I didn’t take the chance today, But it will give me more confidence and more fire to be better.”
Zhang, the world number 524, twice called for a coaching time-out indicating she was still feeling the effects of her injury during the match.