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Australian Open: Wildcard play-offs underway in Zhuhai


12-04-2016 15:59 BJT

We're more than a month away from next year's Australian Open. But many young players hoping to match up with the sport's top stars there are currently competing at a group of wild card play-off tournaments in Zhuhai. And the competitors who perform the best at this event in South China, will earn the opportunity to reach the main draw in Melbourne.

The Australian Open's Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-Off format is now in its fifth year. This event provides an opportunity for competitors from the region to earn their way into the main draw at the first Grand Slam of the tennis season, and is seen as a springboard for young talents from countries like China to boost their careers.

Since China's Li Na won the 2014 Australian Open, the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-Off has seen its stock rise among regional netters, who say success at this event can propel them to a solid start in the new campaign.

This is the third straight year the Wild-Card Playoff event has been held in China, reiterating the country's strong interest in the first Grand Slam of the year. And staging the current edition of the qualifier makes Zhuhai's Hengqin Tennis Center the first venue in the nation to host ATP, WTA, ITF, and Grand Slam-related tournaments.

"This is the fifth tennis event being held here in Zhuhai this year, including the WTA Elite Trophy last month. We are experienced in working with tennis associations around the world. We hope more tennis events can come here in the future. In addition to this, we are bringing in other sporting events, like martial arts competitions, as well as concerts," said Lu Ping, Huafa Sports General Manager.

The 2017 Australian Open will run from January 16th through 29th, at Melbourne Park.

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