Top seed ousted at Shenzhen play-off
UPDATE: China's Fangzhou Liu opened Wednesday's action at the Australian Open Asia Pacific Wildcard Play-off with stunning upset of top-seed Saisai Zheng.
China’s Fangzhou Liu opened Wednesday’s centre court action at the Australian Open 2014 Asia Pacific Wildcard Play-off with stunning upset of top-seeded compatriot Saisai Zheng.
After Zheng jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Liu took control of the match, reeling off the next eight games in a row with a series of groundstroke winners. She eventually closed out the match 6-2 6-3 to book a quarterfinal date with another Chinese player, Zhaoxuan Yang, on Friday.
On the men’s side, top seed Jimmy Wang of Taiwan began his tournament with a comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory over China’s Ouyang Bowen, and said he felt very comfortable with the conditions in Shenzhen.
“I felt great out on the Centre Court today. The first set was tough but I started to play better in the second set. I really enjoy the Plexicushion courts and hope to play well again on Friday in the quarterfinals,” he said.
Second seed Yuki Bhambri of India earned a quarterfinal berth with a hard fought 2-6 6-2 6-3 victory over big serving Kiwi Michael Venus.
Bhambri defended well throughout the watch and utilised the pace of Venus’ serve and groundstrokes to good effect.
“I’m really happy to get through a very tough first round. Michael played really well in the first set but I hung in there well and ended up getting the win,” Bhambri said.
“I’m really excited for this week here in Shenzhen. Thank you to Tennis Australia for providing such a great opportunity and I’m confident I can do well both in singles and doubles this week.”
Women’s second seed Erika Sema of Japan will be confident as she opens centre court action on Thursday. Sema takes on fellow Japanese player Miki Miyamura, whom she defeated 6-2 6-0 in Incheon, Korea in September.
Top-ranked Chinese male players Di Wu and Ze Zhang also begin their singles campaigns tomorrow on centre court.
Wu takes on world No.714 Chuhan Wang of China while Zhang Ze will do battle against qualifier and compatriot Feng He.
Wu said he was looking forward to defending his title from 2012 this week in Shenzhen.
“It was a great moment for me in Nanjing last year. I really enjoyed (contesting) the Australian Open main draw and I want to get there again.”