China Shines as Zhang Shuai knocks out Sloane Stephens at day one of Aussie Open

Updated 2018-01-16 10:37:02 Xinhua

Chinese competitors impressed on day one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Monday, with two players making it through to the second round.

Zhang Shuai pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the morning at the Margaret Court Arena, defeating reigning U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in a gripping 3-set match.

After going down in the first set, the women's world number 34 showed fierce determination to fight back and win a tie-break in the second.

Zhang then broke serve twice in the third to take the contest 6-2, 6-7 (7-2), 2-6.

"I never give up!" Zhang told Xinhua after the match.

"I have to fight for every point, that's my style," she added.

In another impressive performance, China's Duan Ying-Ying blasted her way past Colombian Mariana Duque Marino in straight sets, winning the court 10 match up 6-0, 6-1.

Thrilled with her stellar performance, Duan said she is "quite confident going into the second round," after working hard on her foot movement, defense and overall strength in the lead up to the tournament.

In other matches, Peng Shuai fought hard on court 7 against Ukrainian, Marta Kostyuk, but was defeated 6-2, 6-2.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Wang Xinyu made her Grand Slam debut on Court 15 against Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, losing 6-4, 6-2. Although the experience of the world number 38 proved too much for Wang, her strength and power at the baseline suggests that the Chinese youngster has a very bright future ahead of her.

"I just feel sorry that I didn't play my best game today," she explained.

"I didn't handle key points very well, actually quite a few key points... maybe I'm just a bit tense," she explained.

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