Wu Yibing Makes History with ATP Title in Dallas

Wu Yibing, ATP Dallas Open champion, in action.

Wu Yibing has made history at the Dallas Open, by becoming the first Chinese player to win an ATP Tour title, after beating American veteran John Isner in the final, 6-7 7-6 7-6. Wu saved four championship points in a thriller, eventually coming out on top 14-12 in the deciding tiebreak.

The now Chinese #1 came into the ATP 250 tournament ranked #97, having recently become the second ever player from China to enter the ATP top 100 after finishing as runner-up at the Cleveland Challenger, following in the footsteps of Zhang Zhizhen who achieved the feat back in October.

Wu is now ranked #58, which is a remarkable rise considering he was outside the top 1500 only 10 months ago, after not competing on the tour for almost three years due to a string of injuries.

“I made history here for my country,” Wu said after the final. “I’m very proud of myself and especially thanks to all the fans and my team who came here and supported [me]. I couldn’t do this without all of you guys.”

The Dallas Open champion had to withstand the almost seven foot tall serve of Isner, who hit 44 aces in total in the final, accounting for over a third of his points.

Isner had pledged to donate $100 to the Isner Family Foundation for each ace he hit during the tournament, and ended up raising $13,800 for children in the Dallas area, after landing 138 aces across his five matches.

“It was a tough match. I’m facing, I don’t know 100 aces,” Wu laughed. “It’s a good thing he has this $100 thing, this makes more kids happy. I will take credit for that, because I’m not even moving when he serves!”

Isner also had some kind words to say about Wu, predicting that he would have a ‘bright’ future in tennis.

Wu Yibing’s run to the Dallas title

Not only did Wu beat a former top 10 player in Isner, he also beat a current top 10 star and top seed at the event Taylor Fritz.

First Round – Beat Michael Mmoh, 6-3 3-6 6-3

Second Round – Beat Denis Shapovalov (3), 7-6 6-4

Quarterfinal – Beat Adrian Mannarino (8), 6-3 6-4

Semifinal – Beat Taylor Fritz (1), 6-7 7-5 6-4

Final – Beat John Isner (5), 6-7 7-6 7-6

Main photo credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports