Yibing Wu, a talented Chinese player plagued with injuries, barely had a ranking a year ago. Yibing missed almost three years between 2019 and 2021, struggling with injuries and making an impressive return a year ago. On Sunday, Wu became the first Chinese ATP champion, conquering the ATP 250 event in Dallas following a thrilling victory over John Isner.
Yibing took down the crowd’s favorite 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in two hours and 58 minutes after fending off four match points!
Wu wrote history as the first champion from his country and the first Chinese conquerer of a top-10 rival following the semi-final win over Taylor Fritz.
The 37-year-old veteran missed a massive chance to lift a trophy in front of the home fans, squandering a match point on the return in the second set’s 12th game and three more in the deciding tie break. Isner won two points more than Wu, but not the decisive ones.
The American fired 44 aces and needed only one to match the best-of-three record of Ivo Karlovic from Halle 2015.
Yibing Wu secured his first ATP title at 23 in Dallas.
Wu saved all three break points, including the match point, and squandered two break chances, as they stayed neck and neck from start to finish.
The deciding tie break kicked off with an incredible 22 consecutive points won by a server, and Wu grabbed two mini-breaks after that to emerge at the top. The Chinese created a break point in the encounter’s second game, and the American erased it with an ace.
Wu produced six comfortable holds and earned a set point on the return at 6-5 with a cracking backhand crosscourt winner. John saved it with a booming serve and took two mini-breaks in the tie break to clinch it 7-4 with his 17th ace!
The returners barely won a point in the second set’s first nine games, and Wu held after two deuces in game ten for 5-5. Isner found the rhythm on the return in game 12 and earned a match point when his rival sprayed a backhand error.
Yibing saved it after a baseline rally and introduced the second tie break, a must-win one for him. The Chinese grabbed an early mini-break and added another to claim the breaker 7-3 and force a decider after an hour and 43 minutes.
The rivals remained focused in the third set, delivering 11 easy holds. Yibing faced troubles in game nine after facing two break points. He denied both and brought the game home for more drama and excitement. The deciding tie break saw more incredible serving, with no mini-breaks in the first 22 points!
Isner squandered match points at 6-5, 8-7 and 10-9, all on the return, and saved two at 6-7 and 8-9. Yibing wasted more opportunities at 11-10 and 12-11, with the last one being on his serve. However, the Chinese earned his fourth match point at 12-12 and seized it after the American’s loose forehand for his first out of many ATP titles.