China's Zhang Zhizhen has become the first Chinese man to make the main draw at The Championships in the Open Era. Image Credit: Reuters

London: Zhang Zhizhen will be the first Chinese man in the Open era to play in the main draw at Wimbledon next week after the world No. 178 booked his place by defeating Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 6-0 6-3 6-7(4) 7-6(6) in the qualifiers on Thursday.

The 24-year-old is only the fourth Chinese man to play singles in the main draw of a Grand Slam since the Open era began in 1968.

Fourth attempt

This was his fourth attempt to qualify for a Grand Slam. In his first three attempts, he did not advance past the second round of qualifying.

Wu Di (2013, 2014, 2016), Zhang Ze (2014, 2015) and Li Zhe (2019) have all played at the Australian Open.

Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam to be cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will return in its usual slot this year with the main draw starting on June 28.