Wild card winners hope to serve up Australian Open success

Updated: 2013-11-25 16:07

By Sun Xiaochen (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Chinese aces dominated the Australian Open Wildcard Playoffs, which concluded in Shenzhen, Guangdong province on Sunday.

In the men's final, world No 207 Wu Di clinched his second successive Australian Open Wildcard after beating Davis Cup team mate Zhang Ze, world No 249, in straight sets.

Wu became the first Chinese man to make a Grand Slam main draw event at the 2013 Australian Open after claiming the wild card last year and he expects to improve on that performance in his second campaign in Melbourne.

"I will cherish my second chance and I think I will do better this time with the experience of last year," Wu said after the final held at the Luohu Tennis Club in Shenzhen.

"Making the tournament with a wild card is like a bonus but my goal is to qualify for the main draw by improving my ranking," said the 22-year-old.

Wu showed no mercy taking the first set 6-0 in just 24 minutes. He then took a 5-0 lead before Zhang was able to get into the match.

Zhang won the next three games but conceded three straight unforced errors to allow Wu three match points. Wu closed out the match 6-0, 6-3 to claim the wild card.

Wu's form impressed the crowd, including Mark Edney, athlete development expert at Tennis Australia.

"Wu had the ball on a string," said Edney. "His effortless movement, power and consistency were impenetrable for the first eleven games".

On the women's side, Chinese teenager Tang Haochen beat Japan's world No 193 Risa Ozaki, 6-3, 6-3 to grab the female wild card.

It will be the first time at the Open for Tang, who reached the semifinals of the 2010 AO junior event.

"I hope to play a top 10 player in Australia", Tang said after the match. "I would like to play at Hisense Arena".

Tang settled into the match quicker than Ozaki, breaking the Japanese in the opening game and then broke again in the ninth game to win the first set in 43 minutes.

Tang took a 4-0 lead in the second before Ozaki came back to win the next three games, but Tang regained control to win the match.

There was more success for China in the male juniors with third-seeded Sun Fajing defeating No 2 seed Zheng Weiqiang 6-2, 6-4.

The female draw saw a tight struggle with second seed Zheng Wushuang overcoming Wei Zhanlan 7-6, 6-3.

Both junior winners received wildcards into the 2014 Australian Open Junior Championships.