Chinese teen sensation Xinyu Wang brought joy to the local audience at the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off in Zhuhai, outlasting Abigail Tere-Apisah in a thrilling final to claim and Australian Open main-draw wildcard. The 16-year-old beat Tere-Apisah, from Papua New Guinea, 4-6 7-5 6-4, to book her place at Melbourne Park in January.
Ranked No.763 in the world this week, Wang is almost certain to be the youngest competitor in the singles main draw at the Australian Open next year. In keeping with the theme of youthful success, the men’s play-off final saw top seed Soon Woo Kwon – who only turned 20 on Saturday – celebrated the biggest victory in his career so far. The South Korean thrashed Zhe Li from China 6-1 6-1 in just 59 minutes to gain an Australian Open main draw wildcard.
Like Wang, he will make his Grand Slam debut in January.
“He played extremely well, I don’t have a chance at all.” Li said of Kwon’s near-flawless performance. I’m really happy that I could win,” said Kwon, who couldn’t hide the big smile on his face. “I went through some tough moments recently, so the win gave me something good to end the season on a good note."
At Australian Open 2017, last year’s Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off winner, Denis Istomin, stunned six-time champion Novak Djokovic in the second round, considered perhaps the biggest upset of the season. Asked if he would like to follow in the Uzbek’s footsteps and make some noise at Australian Open 2018, Kwon revealed he was eyeing a player we’re all very familiar with. “I want to play Roger Federer in the first round,” Kwon said.