Agonising defeat: China's Shang Juncheng plays a forehand return to Peru's Juan Pablo Varillas
Paris (AFP) - Shang Juncheng and Wu Yibing missed out on becoming the first Chinese men in 86 years to win a match at the French Open on Monday, leaving the nation’s hopes resting on Zhang Zhizhen.
Shang, 18, and ranked 200, let slip a two-sets lead to lose 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 to Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas.
Having come through qualifying in Paris, the teenager was in the ascendancy for large parts of the opening round clash against his 94th-ranked opponent.
However, left-hander Shang suffered a left wrist injury which hindered his progress and required a medical timeout in the fifth set.
Wu, China’s highest-ranked man at 54 in the world and who made the US Open third round last year, then lost 7-6 (7⁄4), 6-1, 6-1 to experienced Spanish 19th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
Zhang, the world number 71, was facing Dusan Lajovic of Serbia later Monday as he bids to be the first male player from China to reach the second round in Paris since Kho Sin-Khie and Choy Wai-Chuen in 1937.