AO Press Release, December 4, 2017
The tennis year has finished off in spectacular fashion for Soon Woo Kwon of South Korea and Xinyu Wang of China, with both taking out the singles titles at the Australian Open Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off in Zhuhai, China.
Both Kwon and Wang will be packing their bags for Melbourne in January after winning direct entry into the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, Australian Open 2018.
The Wildcard Play-off has been a revelation for Wang, who at 16 years of age had a remarkable run to win the women’s singles final.
Currently ranked No.763 in the world, she defeated rising star Abigail Tere-Apisah of Papua New Guinea, 4-6 7-5 6-4.
“I told myself, it’s not the time to hold back, so I just went for my shots, and after that I was able to play more freely,” she said.
“It’s probably the most important day in my life so far. I want to become an excellent player like Li Na and Zheng Jie, I will work hard to achieve this goal.”
Soon Woo Kwon, the top seed, defeated fourth seed Li Zhe of China, to win the men’s singles 6-1 6-1.
Kwon already has some big goals leading into January’s Australian Open.
“I’m really happy that I could win. I went through some tough moments recently, so the win gave me something good to end the season on a good note,” Kwon said.
“I want to play Roger Federer in the first round.”
Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley congratulated both players on winning a wildcard.
“It’s been an incredible week for both Xinyu Wang and Soon Woo Kwon, and we wish them all the best for January.
“This is a fantastic event for the best players in the Asia-Pacific and gives them the opportunity to play at Grand Slam level. It’s a vital part of growing the sport of tennis in the region and creating additional international exposure,” Tiley said.
Brothers Sonchat and Sanchai Ratiwatana from Thailand took out the men’s doubles title, while No.2 seed Xinyu Jiang and Qianhui Tang claimed victory in the women’s doubles final.
In the juniors, Chinese pair Linang Xiao and Qianhui Tang took out the coveted titles in the 18-and-under boys and girls finals.
The Australian Open Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off is an important part of the lead up to the Australian Open.
Next Monday 11 December, some of Australia’s best emerging players will be at Melbourne Park for the Australian Open 2018 Play-off, for their chance to win direct entry into the tournament.