Wu Yibing (Photo Getty Images)
A small sheet of tennis history was written last night at the ATP 250 in Dallas. Wu Yibing continues to be the protagonist who, after becoming the second Chinese tennis player to break into the top 100 in the men’s rankings, confirms his exceptional form by elevating himself to the final of the Texas tournament. He is the first Chinese tennis player in the Open Era to achieve this goal. With a performance at a high level, the 23-year-old surprisingly beat the big title favorite Taylor Fritz in three hard-fought sets in the semifinals and thus gained access to the title match, where he will meet the “Bogeyman”. from John Isner’s serve. For Wu Yibing it is also the first win against a top 10.
Many firsts for Chinese tennis, which after decades of waiting and poor results is also becoming a factor in men’s tennis. The countryman PanBing He had managed to reach the semi-finals in Seoul in 1995, but never before had a Chinese reached the final of a major tour event.
A dream tournament for Wu Yibing: In addition to Fritz’s excellent scalp, the 23-year-old from Hangzhou also defeated Shapovalov and Mannarino.
A spectacular moment for the young Chinese, who is starting in the ATP ranking: After his debut in the tennis elite, Wu is already in 76th place in the ATP live ranking and would enter the top 60 if Isner were to win today. He already has the certainty of being the highest-ranked Chinese tennis player in the history of the ATP rankings.
Wu remains very humble: “When I walked onto the field today, I wasn’t thinking of scoring or winning. I just tried to do my best,” he said in his on-pitch interview. It won’t be an easy match against Isner’s super serve, but the young Chinese is one of the most welcome surprises of this season’s start and given his fairly complete tennis, he seems to have plenty of room for improvement.