"I am pretty happy about the win today because I didn't expect to win today," Zheng admitted, after the match. "I was just going to fight for it."
World No.40 Zheng, the wildcard into the 12-woman field, claimed victory over Keys after 91 minutes of play. The upset win avenged a straight-set loss to the 13th-ranked American in their only previous clash, which also took place in the round-robin portion of Zhuhai in 2015.
"I think I played pretty solid today," said Zheng. "[Keys] didn't put many first serves in, which gave me more opportunities to go into the rallies and start to run her. So I think that's the key for today."
"When I served, I tried to just surprise her," Zheng continued. "I mixed up a lot, like I'm not going only wide or only to the T, she didn't know where I was going to serve. So I think I am doing pretty consistent today."
The strong season for Chinese No.2 Zheng continues unabated. Zheng claimed her first-ever WTA singles title at San Jose this summer, propelling her to a career-high ranking of No.37 in August. Her win over Keys is her third victory over a Top 20 player this season.