WU Yibing has set his sights on becoming the first Chinese man to break into the world’s top 100 after becoming his country’s first boys’ grand slam singles champion.
The 17-year-old achieved what players such as Pat Cash, Stefan Edberg, Andy Roddick, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had done before him by winning the US Open boys’ title at Flushing Meadows.
Wu, who is ranked 496th in the world in the men’s rankings, felt his victory proved China’s males are capable of playing good tennis.
China’s limited success in tennis has almost exclusively been down to its female players, with Li Na winning two grand slam singles titles – the 2011 French Open and 2014 Australian Open.
Wu has a long way to go before he can think about emulating her achievements – but his 6-4 6-4 win over Argentinian top seed Axel Geller put him in good company.
He also won the boys’ doubles title with Taiwan’s Hsu Yu-hsiou to complete a successful trip to New York.
“I think this is showing ourselves and showing the world Chinese boys can be good – and Chinese men,” said Wu.
“I’m really happy to win the doubles and singles here. It’s for China. It’s for me. Xie xie (thank you).”
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 10, 2017
Wu, who trains both in China and in Spain, is only the second Asian boy to win the title, following India’s Leander Paes in 1991.
Paes was unable to transfer his success as a junior to the men’s arena – but Wu, who blew six championship points before eventually closing out the match, is tipped for a bright future in senior tennis.
He is heading straight back home to play in a Challenger Tour event, with his immediate ambition being a breakthrough no Chinese man has previously achieved.
“Top 100, the first goal, easy,” he laughed.
China’s highest ranked man is Wu Di, who is 219th, down from a career-high of 203rd.