Shang Juncheng of China plays during the Australian Open second round match in Melbourne, Australia, January 18, 2023. /CFP

Shang Juncheng of China plays during the Australian Open second round match in Melbourne, Australia, January 18, 2023. /CFP

China’s 18-year-old Shang Juncheng has become a wildcard recipient for Australian Open 2024, bringing to nine the total numbers of Chinese players to start their journey at the Grand Slam event.

Shang is among eight recipients of the coveted wildcard in the men’s singles draw, released on Thursday.

Last year at 17, he made history as the youngest player in the men’s singles draw during the Australian Open 2023.

The website of the Australian Open reported that it was the first time that three Chinese male players – Zhang Zhizhen, Wu Yibing, and Shang Juncheng – contested a Grand Slam main draw in 2023.

Zhang Zhizhen of China plays during the United Cup tennis event in Perth, Australia, January 3, 2024. /CFP

Zhang Zhizhen of China plays during the United Cup tennis event in Perth, Australia, January 3, 2024. /CFP

Zhang Zhizhen of China plays during the United Cup tennis event in Perth, Australia, January 3, 2024. /CFP

This year, China’s Shang and Zhang will play in the men’s singles, while Zheng Qinwen, Zhu Lin, Wang Xinyu, Wang Xiyu, Yuan Yue, Bai Zhuoxuan and Wang Yafan will play in the women’s singles during the Australian Open.

The other seven wildcard players in men’s singles are Australian players Jason Kubler, James Duckworth, Marc Polmans, Adam Walton, James McCabe, American Patrik Kypson and Arthur Cazaux of France.

The wildcard recipients in the women’s singles are Australian players Kimberly Birrell, Olivia Gadecki, Taylah Preston, Daria Saville, and Alize Cornet of France, Mai Hontama of Japan, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and American McCartney Kessler.

The Australian Open 2024 qualifying competition begins at Melbourne Park on January 8, with main draw starting from January 14 to 28.

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