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Wu becomes first Chinese man to win ATP title with Dallas triumph

WU Yibing became the first man from China to win an ATP title on Sunday as he held off home hero John Isner 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 7-6(12) in a thrilling final to claim the Dallas Open.

China’s men have barely made an impression in tennis’ elite circuit but 23-year-old Mr. Wu’s breakthrough could inspire generations to come in the East Asian nation.

Before this week, no Chinese man had ever reached a tour-level final in the professional era or defeated a top 10 opponent.

Mr. Wu, from the eastern city of Hangzhou, has done both, having upset American world number eight Taylor Fritz in the semi-finals in Dallas.

Against Mr. Isner, a hardened tour professional with 16 titles and one of the game’s most feared serves, Mr. Wu had to earn the right to create history.

Mr. Isner hammered 44 aces and held match point as Mr. Wu served to stay in the second set at 6-5.

After 22 consecutive points went with serve in the final tiebreak, Mr. Wu forced Mr. Isner to push the ball long, claiming the match a minute short of three hours.

On Monday Mr. Wu became the second Chinese man to crack the world top 100 and is now projected to rise to 58.

Ranked outside the top 1,000 last April, Mr. Wu qualified for the US Open and won two main draw matches, becoming the first Chinese man to reach the third round of a Grand Slam since 1938. — Reuters

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