After both exchanged serves in the following two games, a more experienced Zhang then delivered a dominant performance in the tie-break to seal the first set.
Persepolis is to meet the winner of the East Zone for the AFC championship match.
"We inflicted great pressure on our opponents throughout the game. Offensively we played inside out and showed our level," Inner Mongolia coach Zheng Wei reflected.
"I'm very happy. It was a great match, I didn't make any mistakes. Casper is a really great player, very attractive to play, I think there were many good rallies, it was a good match from both of us," said the newly-crowned US open champion.
On the Henan side, 2020 top draft pick Fang Min contributed 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in her WCBA debut. Zhang added 16 points.
While predecessor Wagner could count on a seven-week-long preparation phase, only two weeks remain for Baum to get the team back on track, when Schalke faces Union Berlin on October 18 on home soil in the Bundesliga.
Association president Fritz Keller demanded a series of victories to collect points helping to avoid relegation "as we can't afford to go down to a lower group."
Against Huesca and Villarreal, Atletico showed their old problems as they struggled to create chances against well-organized rivals, while Suarez looked sluggish.
The Rams, as the champions of the previous three seasons are nicknamed, started off well and dominated 4-1 after the first half of the game, led by the Canadian forward Matthew Mistele's two goals, but the visitors from Michalovce produced a miraculous comeback by scoring four in a row.
Most clubs have counted on loan deals instead of buying new players.
"It is a very difficult group with Leipzig as the third seed," Tuchel said. "We know how strong they are. We will need to be at our best to go through." Enditem