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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Yibing becomes first Chinese player to lift ATP Tour trophy


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Washington: Wu Yibing became the first Chinese mainland player to lift an ATP Tour trophy after winning the Dallas Open title on Sunday.

The 23-year-old endured 44 aces from host player John Isner and saved four championship points to achieve a history-making 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (12) victory in two hours and 59 minutes.

“It’s a long match, three tiebreaks. It’s very special that I can make it today, and hopefully there is more to come,” Wu told reporters.

Isner, standing at 2.08m, held championship point on Wu’s serve at 6-5, 30/40 in the second set, but Wu kept his cool to recover from that and secured his win through three tiebreaks.

After forcing Isner to push a forehand long in the third-set tiebreak, Wu lay on the ground to celebrate his historic victory.

Wu finished with 41 winners, including seven aces, also winning all 13 points he played at the net.

“It’s like he plays every point the same, so definitely no nerves,” said Isner about Wu’s performance. “He gets a ball to hit, he hits it, and on this court it’s hard to hit him a shot he is uncomfortable with. He is an unbelievable ball striker and a very good talent.”

Wu had already reached the milestone on Saturday by becoming the first Chinese mainland player to enter an ATP Tour final in the Open Era. He stunned world No. 8 and top seed Taylor Fritz of the United States in the semifinal for his first Top 10 victory.

The fast-rising Chinese star will rise to a career-high world No. 58 on ATP rankings.

Wu had notched six tour-level wins prior to this week, while riding on a fairy-tale campaign in Dallas by defeating Michael Mmoh, third-seeded Denis Shapovalov, Adrian Mannarino, Fritz and Isner en route to the crown.

“The most important thing is that I give more hope to the next generation. They are going to have even higher goals or standards, not just breaking Top 100 or winning the ATP 250,” Wu commented.


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