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Zhang gives China first men’s singles win at French Open in 86 years

PARIS (AFP) – Zhang Zhizhen on Monday became the first Chinese man in 86 years to win a match at the French Open.

The world number 71 was leading Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 4-1 when his Serbian opponent retired with an injury.

It was a first main draw win at the majors for Zhang who had been an opening round loser in his three previous appearances at the Slams.

The 26-year-old is getting used to making breakthroughs for China.

In 2021, he was the first Chinese man to play at Wimbledon while earlier in May at Madrid, he became the first to reach the quarter-finals of a Masters event.

He will now face Thiago Agustin Tirante, the world 153 from Argentina, who defeated Dutch 25th seed Botic van de Zandschulp.

Zhang was the only one of three Chinese men to survive the first round in Paris after Shang Juncheng and Wu Yibing both missed out.

Shang, 18, and ranked 200, let slip a two-sets lead to lose 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 to Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas.

Having come through qualifying in Paris, the teenager was in the ascendancy for large parts of the opening round clash against his 94th-ranked opponent.

However, left-hander Shang suffered a left wrist injury which hindered his progress and required a medical timeout in the fifth set.


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