By Sportswriter Huang Jie
MELBOURNE, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- History was made when Wu Di became the first Chinese man to have played a Grand Slam match here on Tuesday.
History was also made by Japan's 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm, who shocked 12th seed Nadia Petrova to become the oldest winner of a women's singles match in Australian Open history.
Though ousted by Ivan Dodig of Croatia by 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 and 6-3 in three hours 14 minutes, the 21-year-old Wu, who was qualified via a wildcard tournament in Nanjing, turned a new page for Chinese tennis and is keen to lead Chinese men out of the shadows of their more successful women's counterparts.
While Li Na, who comes from Wu's home city, won the French Open final in 2011, Wu and Zhang Ze, ranked 158, are the only Chinese players in the men's top 350 for now.
"I see hopes through today's match." said Wu. "And I will keep working in the future to reach the top 100."
The loss also let Wu see his differences from world-class players.
"Dodig is quite a better player than me. The experience is more important than techniques," said Wu. "He showed how to deal with key points and that's the reason he won."
"But I really enjoy today's match. Every game, every set, except the result,"added Wu.
Earlier in the day, Japan's 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm knocked out women's 12th seed Nadia Petrova out of Australian Open to reach the second round.
The last time for Date-Krumm to go past the first round at the Australian Open was in 1996. Date-Krumm showed age was no barrier, powering past the Russian 6-2, 6-0 in one hour and four minutes. Petrova's 38 unforced errors saw the first big seed player out of the tournament.
"I just eat a lot and sleep a lot. I finish the dinner at 7:30 and sleep before 10:00 like the kids," Date-Krumm revealed her secret to playing so well at 42.
"I'm always tired after the match or the practice. So I need time to recover a lot. I eat healthy foods. I drink a lot. It's simple life. Nothing special."
Title-favorite Serena Williams temporarily overcame a major scare and managed to overwhelm Edina Gallovits-Hall 6-0, 6-0. Winning six of the last events she has entered, Williams badly twisted her right ankle when running wide for a forehand in the fifth game of the first set. But after lying on the ground for a good two minutes, Williams was able to get up, limp back to the chair and have her ankle rewrapped.
"Oh, I'll be out there," she said when asked if she would be playing her next match on Thursday.
"I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there's no way I'm not going to be competing. I'm alive. My heart's beating. I'll be fine," she said.
"I've been injured before," she added. "I've played this tournament with so many injuries and was able to come off pretty on top."
"So for me it's just another page and a great story to tell the grandkids one day," said the 15-time Grand Slam winner.