Zhang Zhizhen 1st Chinese man in Wimbledon draw in Open era

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Zhang Zhizhen is the first man representing China to earn a spot in the main draw at Wimbledon in the Open era, which began in 1968 when professionals were admitted to Grand Slam tennis tournaments.

Zhang won three matches in qualifying rounds for Wimbledon, capped by a 6-0, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6) victory over Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina on Thursday.

The 24-year-old Zhang is ranked 178th. He failed in three previous attempts to qualify at Grand Slam tournaments.

China’s greatest success in the sport came via Li Na, who won women’s singles titles at the 2011 French Open and 2014 Australian Open and was inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2019.

Main-draw play at the All England Club begins Monday.

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