Australian Open: 17-year-old Shang makes history

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China's 17-year-old Shang Juncheng on Monday made a stunning debut at the Australian Open, his first Grand Slam event, by powering into the second round with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-5 victory over Germany's Oscar Otte.

As the youngest man to join the tournament's singles draw this year, Shang also etched his name in history for delivering the maiden win by a Chinese mainland men's singles player at the Australian Open main draw in the Open Era (since 1968).

"I'm a little surprised that I came this fast, but at the same time, I think it's all the hard work from my team and myself that paid off. I think I'm just nothing else but excited about what's coming next," Shang said at a post-game press conference.

Though Otte fired 19 aces and attained a fastest serve speed of 209 km/h, Shang edged past his German opponent with his 52 winners and scored a nearly flawless 94 percent of net points.

Facing off the 29-year-old veteran who currently holds the 74th on the ATP rankings, world No. 194 Shang broke for a 3-2 lead in the opening set and drew his first blood without dropping any of the remaining three games.

In the following set, two forehand unforced errors and a double fault from Otte handed Shang a second 3-2 advantage and the young gun later chalked up a 6-4 set win on his scoreboard.

The third set was dragged into a tie-breaker, where Otte prevailed 7-2 by shooting powerful winners and forcing Shang into multiple errors.

But Shang later came back in the decider for a 7-5 triumph, securing his third set win after laboring two hours and 57 minutes on Court 13 at Melbourne Park.

"In the match points, I wasn't thinking much. I was playing very aggressively in my service games and I was holding quite easily. So I was thinking [the] worst case, you know, we play another tiebreak and if I lose in the tiebreak we go on to the fifth set," said Shang.

Surrounded by his fans cheering him up on the courtside, Shang said that he felt as if playing on home soil. "Without their support, I wouldn't make it today. I really appreciate my fans who helped me win this match," he added.

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