"Even without Neymar or Mbappe Paris have a very good team. We were solid, we were compact, we all worked together and it paid off in the end."
As the match moved deep into the fifth set, it became more about mental fortitude than technical skill. Zverev fought through nerves by moving forward and was rewarded by breaking Thiem at 4-3 with an aggressive forehand.
Around 800 fans witnessed the opening ceremony and the opening match. Newly promoted Chengdu Xingcheng Habitat beat Beijing Renhe 3-2 to bag a winning start.
"I am satisfied with the players, they have good skills and positive attitude," the 46-year old said.
"The tournament gives the students a good opportunity to communicate with one another through football matches and help them improve their body condition as well as football skills," he added. Enditem
The third seeds were forced into a final-set tiebreak, where they saved a match point, before overcoming Muhammad and Townsend in a tremendous tussle 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9-7) and booked their ticket to the final.
Hoffenheim pressed for the winner in extra time but it was the underdogs who grabbed the lead as Freiberger's lay up allowed Christian Bickel to slot home in the 100th minute to make it 2-1.
Luneng were on a three-game winless run before Sunday's game while Evergrande dominated Group A, despite losing to Luneng 1-0 in the first leg, their only defeat this season.
Henan Jianye ranked at the bottom among the eight teams in group A with only one win and three draws after 10 rounds.
This initially saw another deployment of the safety car, before race stewards decided that clearing the wreckage and repairing damage to the barrier would be better done with the race temporarily halted again.
Digao Silva pulled a late goal back for Fluminense when he headed in from an Egidio Pereira corner.