I feel like I won the Australian Open - Zhang


A tired Zhang Shuai felt like the Australian Open champion after her fairy tale run at Melbourne Park was ended on Wednesday.

The Chinese qualifier saw her run ended in the quarter-finals as she went down to Brit Johanna Konta 6-4 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena.

Zhang had never won a main-draw match at a grand slam heading into 2016 after 14 straight first-round losses.

But that all changed for the 27-year-old and she was proud of her achievements despite a straight-sets loss to Konta.

"[I'm feeling] so tired. Everything was feeling very slow on court," Zhang said.

"But in my heart I'm feeling I already won the tournament because I won seven matches. Doesn't matter win, lose today, just keep going.

"Have a few days off, try and work hard to be ready for the next tournament."

Zhang is ranked 133rd in the world but has been as high as 30, although that came in mid-2014.

She hopes her run at the year's first grand slam can propel her to even better performances for the rest of the year.

"I'm feeling very tough, because for all the Chinese players, the goal this year, we want to play the Olympic Games. This is the big goal," Zhang said.

"I'm feeling so tough in half a year. I have to win a lot matches, and also from 200 to top 60, this is very tough.

"I have to win a lot matches in the big tournaments with a lot of great players.

"This is so tough for me. I think tough for everybody. But I did great job these two weeks. I'm so happy."