Australian Open: Shang hoping for 'big future' after making Chinese tennis history

By Sports Desk January 16, 2023

Shang Juncheng is aiming to "do something big in the future" after becoming the first male Chinese player to win a main draw match at the Australian Open.

The 17-year-old – who is also the youngest participant in the men's draw – beat Oscar Otte 6-2 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 to advance to the second round on Monday.

Shang will play number 16 seed Frances Tiafoe next, and after his win acknowledged what a big moment it is for men's tennis in China.

"I think it's huge for Chinese men's tennis," he told reporters. "We have had really good players from the women's side but not really big names in the men's, so I think we are very lucky that I'm part of it, and I'm very lucky that I'm part of this team. Hopefully we can do something big in the future."

On why it has taken so long for a man from his country to find success at the tournament, Shang – who also likes to go by the name Jerry – said: "It's a complicated thing. I'm not quite sure how to answer that, but I think physically it's a big step for us in the men's tennis.

"But I think we're on the right track now. Hopefully we can do a better job in the slams, in the three-out-of-five sets, hopefully that can happen in the future."

Shang named Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as his three main inspirations, citing their passion for tennis and "amazing personalities".

The world number 194 impressed against Otte, hitting 53 winners and not dropping his serve at any point, saving the only two break points he faced while taking nine of 13 break points he forced against his German opponent.

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