The 23-year-old Yibing Wu became the second Chinese top-100 player, with no intentions of stopping there! Wu scored four victories at the ATP 250 Dallas event this week to advance into the first ATP final, becoming the first Chinese player to achieve that.
Yibing claimed the US Open junior title in 2017 and secured his first Challenger crown a couple of weeks later in Shanghai, still at 17. Instead of building on that, the young gun struggled with injuries, staying home in China in 2018 and taking a break from the sport in March 2019.
Yibing did not compete in 2020 and 2021, experiencing one setback after another but never stopping believing. Ranked outside the top-1700 last April, Wu kicked off an impressive comeback, showing his quality at Futures and Challengers and earning enough points to crack the top-100 less than a year later.
Yibing Wu is the first Chinese player in an ATP final.
Now, the young gun is in a position to chase his first ATP crown, gaining a massive boost and hoping for more in the rest of the season. Wu faced the home favorite Taylor Fritz in the semi-final and prevailed 6-7, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 32 minutes.
Fritz took four points more than his rival but not the crucial ones, wasting all nine break points and losing serve once in sets two and three. Yibing saved three break points in the encounter’s third game and created two set points on the return in game ten.
Taylor denied them and held for 5-5 and more drama. The set went into a tie break, and the American created for set points at 6-2. Fritz seized the second with a forced error to wrap up the opener and gain a boost. Wu experienced a massive challenge at 2-2 in the second set after facing five break points.
The Chinese denied them and held with a service winner for 3-2. The American stood two points from the finish line in the tenth game, and his rival held at 30 to prolong the battle. Yibing fired a forehand winner in the 11th game to grab a break and held at 15 in the next one to wrap up the set 7-5 and force a decider.
Wu broke again at 2-2 in the final set and moved closer to the finish line. Taylor wasted a break point in game eight after the rival’s incredible defense, and Yibing sealed the deal with a forehand drive-volley winner in game ten for a place in his first ATP final.