Wu Yibing became the first Chinese player to win an ATP Tour title, rallying in a three-set, all-tiebreaker thriller to beat American John Isner in the Dallas Open on Sunday. The young Chinese player survived 44 aces from the big-serving Isner and also saved four championship points to down Isner. The 23-year-old Wu was the first Chinese player to feature in an ATP final. Wu fought well and played with a never-give-up attitude to secure a memorable 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (12) win to script history.
Before this week, no player from China had ever reached a tour-level final in the Open Era or defeated an opponent in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings. Wu achieved both of those in a single match with his semi-final victory against World No.8 Taylor Fritz, and he continued his history-making run in the summit clash with a milestone victory for tennis in his country.
Wu collapsed on the court with delight following his victory. There were no service breaks in Wu’s victory over the fifth-seeded Isner, who was playing in his hometown tournament. The 37-year-old American’s eye-popping ace tally was just one short of the all-time record for aces in a three-set ATP Tour match of 45 set by Ivo Karlovic in 2015.
I made history for my country and for my home, said Wu at the trophy ceremony. It is not only about winning the title, I think it is more about me personally making history, added Wu, who was the first Chinese man to reach the third round of the U.S. Open when he did it as a qualifier last year.
The Chinese player stated that this is huge for the next generation. Wu expressed that he needs to keep going and keep his body healthy as there is more to come. Wu confessed that he is very proud of himself and mentioned special thanks to all the fans and his team who supported him throughout the tournament.
The American held championship point on his opponent’s serve at 6-5 in the second set, but Wu kept his cool to recover before sealing a historic victory in a nerve-wracking deciding-set tie-break. Wu forced Isner to push a forehand long to clinch a third-set tie-break in which the first 22 points went with serve. He completed a remarkable two-hour and 59-minute win despite the 6-foot-10 American firing powerful aces in the match. Isner was trying for his 17th career title in his 31st final.