Tere-Apisah’s dream ends


Tennis star Abigail Tere-Apisah’s aspiration to become the first Papua New Guinean to compete at a Grand Slam was shattered when Chinese teen sensation Xinyu Wang beat her 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 yesterday.
Tere-Apisah booked the Asia- Pacific wildcard final playoff earlier after beating Jing-Jing Lu 6-1, 6-1 in less than one hour in the women’s singles final at the Australian Open Asia-Pacific Wildcard play-off in Zhuhai, China, on Sunday.
After qualifying for the final, Tere-Apisah was happy with her performance and vied to stay on the top in her game but her dream did not turn into reality when Wang proved too strong for her.
The 16-year-old Wang has now booked her place at Melbourne Park for the January Australian Open.
Ranked No.763 in the world this week, Wang is almost certain to be the youngest competitor in the singles main draw at the Australian Open next year.
For Tere-Apisah it has always been her dream to win the Australian Open.
Wang had never seen Tere-Apisah play before; the only way to collect some knowledge was to do some internet research.
“She must feel confident too after winning matches, so it’s definitely going to be a tough one,” Wang told reporters before the match.
Tere-Apisah once led 5-3, 3-0 in the second set and was incredibly close to making history for her country as the first player from Papua New Guinea to compete at a Grand Slam.
But it was not to be for the 25 year-old who received a player grant from the Grand Slam Development Fund earlier this year.
The momentum shifted and Wang, demonstrating fearlessness for her age, swiped the next seven points and went on to level the match.
“I told myself, it’s not the time to hold back, so I just went for my shots, and after that I was able to play more freely,” Wang said.
Meanwhile, 31 year-old Zhe Li from China booked his spot in the men’s singles by overcoming his countryman Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.