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556 Becoming Famous Overnigh



Perry was the third seed in the tournament. His first match was also that day. However, he did not receive the same treatment as the tennis king Basel and was not scheduled to play at the Centre Court.

Perry's opponent was also a player who got in through the qualifiers, so the talent gap between the two sides was too large. Perry beat his opponent in three sets, and easily advanced to the second round.

When the game ended, Perry walked out of the stadium. He heard a round of applause when he walked past the Central Court.

That is very enthusiastic applause. I don't know who is playing at the Central Court. Perry looked towards to the court and saw an enormous electronic display in front of the door. It showed the details of the ongoing game and the upcoming game.

Perry saw the name "Basel" straight away.

Basel? How is he still playing? Is his match not finished? When I got here, he was already playing. My match has finished, but he is still playing? How can it be dragging on for so long? What happened?"

Perry was puzzled. He decided to check out why Basel's game was going on for so long.

As the third seed of the tournament, Perry was naturally allowed admission into the court. He immediately saw Basel.

It's really Basel. His game is not over.

Perry then looked at the scoreboard.

An advanced set? That means that the previous two sets were tied? What is going on? This is only the first round. How can Basel be facing someone as good as him? Perry couldn't believe it

7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-7. Did they play four ties? What is going on? There is actually someone who is able to tie Basel four times?

Perry turned to the other side of the court, and then he saw Zhen Chen.

Who is this guy? Perry frowned. As the third seed in the tournament, Perry was ranked third in the world. He certainly wouldn't know such a low-ranked player.

...

Who is this guy? He actually reached an advanced set with Basel.

The board says that he is Zhen Chen. Other than his age, nationality and world ranking, there's not much to know about this guy.

He must be quite good if he was able to push Basel to this point.

Is he really ranked around 200? As far as I know, even the top 10 players in the world lose in three sets when playing Basel. Chen's performance today is much better than those that.

At that moment, everyone watching was paying attention to Zhen Chen.

A wind of change rippled through the audience.

At the beginning of the game, everyone cheered for Basel. After all, Basel was the tennis king and, therefore, deserved the most attention.

As for Zhen Chen, he only managed to get a bit of applause when he played well. The applause was more of a courtesy than an acknowledgment of his skill.

However, now that the game had reached this stage, the audience also started to change. They began to applaud and cheer for Zhen Chen. Although the audience still didn't know who Zhen Chen was, a supposedly weak player, was facing off against the Tennis King in an advanced set. Even the fussiest of audiences had to cheer for him.


The applause excited Zhen Chen. He never thought that he would be so enthusiastically cheered for at the U.S. Open at the Central Court. He could feel the audience giving him recognition. For such a weak player, it was already impressive to compete in the Grand Slam. Getting the recognition of the audience was just another blessing.

...

Maurez was the president of a well-known watch brand in Switzerland. He was also a hardcore fan of the tennis king Basel, so Basel became the spokesperson for the watch brand.

Maurez came to watch Basel's game that day. As a fan of Basel, he certainly hoped that Basel could win the U.S. Open. As the president of the company, he hoped that his company's spokesperson could win the Grand Slam.

Maurez did not pay much attention to this match. After all, it was only the first match. Victory was inevitable for Basel. He would be able to destroy the cannon fodder. There wasn't supposed to be any drama.

However, as a hardcore fan of Basel, Maurez still came to watch the match, even though it was predicted to only last half an hour. Maurez really hoped that Basel could play longer. After all, Basel was the spokesperson of their company; the longer the game, the more exposure the company got.

When Zhen Chen won a set, turning the total score to 1-1, Maurez was somewhat satisfied that his company got more time in the spotlight.

Now, however, Maurez felt anxious.

How can this be? This opponent was supposed to be weak. An advantage set?

Maurez looked at the 5-5 score and his anxiety increased. Basel needed to win two points in a row in order to win.

There's no way Basel would lose, right? This thought popped into his head and he broke out in a cold sweat.

If Basel was eliminated in the first round, then the huge amount of endorsement fees they had invested in Basel would be lost.

Where exactly did this guy come from? Maurez looked at Zhen Chen with anxiety and bitterness.

Basel, you must not lose. Our company has given you a lot in endorsement fees. If you can't make it through the first round, I won't be able to explain it to the board. Maurez prayed silently.

Maurez was not the only sponsor who was present. As a tennis king, Basel had dozens of advertising endorsements. Half of his endorsements were from well-known multinational brands. Those sponsors were not feeling confident. If Basel lost in the first round, it would be terrible news.

...

Basel looked indignant. The score in the fifth set was 6-6. As it was an advantage set, he had to win at least two more points to achieve final victory.

Basel never thought this match would be so hard. He couldn't understand how he wasn't dominating his opponent. He had started taking it seriously, but the score was still neck-to-neck.

Basel looked at Zhen Chen and he thought about the look Zhen Chen gave him before the match began. He was clearly his idol. He then looked at the score. Basel knew that he was a respectable opponent and an opponent worthy of facing head-on.

I want to beat him! A new conviction emerged in Basel. He felt the desire for victory.

Basel had never had such a strong desire in the first round of any the four Grand Slams. Of course, he had never been forced to this point in the first round before.

...

Basel was the tennis king. 80% to 90% of his games were broadcast live all over the world. After all, in tennis, Basel meant good ratings.

The sports channel of the Chinese Central Television chose to broadcast Basel's match as the first match of the U.S. Open. Basel's opponent was also a Chinese player. It didn't matter that it would just be for one round, it was still worth broadcasting the game live.

Zhen Chen's performance had already attracted the attention of many Chinese at this point.

Zhen Chen was one of the top players in Chinese tennis. However, men's tennis was not very popular there. There were not many excellent male tennis players in the country. Even tennis fans did not know Zhen Chen. They would be able to name the top ten players in the world, but they would not know Zhen Chen's name.

In this match, Zhen Chen and Basel were playing an advantage set. Now, Chinese audiences were learning a lot about this rookie.

...

8-6! The game is over! In the end, Basel still won! Dai Li took a deep breath. Although the game reached an advantage set, Basel achieved the final victory.

The effect of 'Evenly Matched' was still not enough for Zhen Chen to win. Perhaps the talent gap was too big. Even if it was a close match, Zhen Chen wasn't able to win against Basel.

Dai Li turned to look at Jianguo Chen. Jianguo Chen was not frustrated at all. On the contrary, his face was full of pride.

Playing as well as Zhen Chen had against Basel was something to be proud of.

On the court, Basel did not celebrate but instead went directly over to Zhen Chen. He extended his hand to Zhen Chen. He did this to show his respect.

Zhen Chen looked flattered. He did not expect his idol, Basel, to take the initiative in shaking hands.

"Zhen Chen, you played well. I almost lost to you..." Basel said with a smile.

"Basel, can I have your autograph?" Zhen Chen asked timidly.

Basel was no stranger to having an opponent who wanted his autograph. Four Grand Slam titles a year and a few dozen World Tour Masters, Basel always encounter opponents who wanted his autograph in the first few rounds. Basel was usually not stingy and he normally agreed to the other party's request. He would sign the ball or the other's racket. After tennis matches, players would often sign the tennis ball and then throw it to the audience.

This time, Basel signed his name directly on his racket and handed it to Zhen Chen.

"I'll give my racket to you. I hope I will get another chance to play against you." Basel's action showed that he had a lot of respect for Zhen Chen.

...

The moment was captured on camera. It was also observed by Dai Li.

No matter the result of this match, Zhen Chen will become famous overnight! No one will ever think of him as weak ever again.