With a Grand Slam breakthrough last week at Flushing Meadows, it looks like China might finally have a new champion on its hands.
His name? Wu Yibing. His latest claim to fame? Winning the 2017 US Open boys’ singles and doubles titles and reaching No.1 in the junior rankings. With no time to celebrate, the 17-year-old hopped on a plane to the ATP Challenger stop in Shanghai, showing little signs of slowing down as he looks to make the transition from juniors to pros.
Not long after touching down on home soil following just a few hours of rest, Wu picked up where he left off in New York with a surprising 6-3, 7-6(3) win over second-seeded Canadian Peter Polansky, who himself is coming off a fine summer in North America that included three ATP Challenger Tour finals.
Wu, who hails from Hangzhou just a few hours south of Shanghai, recognises the immediate impact of his US Open triumph. “I think it was a great experience for all the Chinese tennis players and [Chinese] associations,” said Wu. “We showed the world that we can do it for boys’ and men’s players also.”
With the exception of the year-end ITF Junior Masters in Chengdu, the Chinese teenager’s focus now shifts to the professional circuit, where he hopes his junior success will translate.
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 13, 2017
“I think it’s about the rhythm and how the players are thinking about the matches,” said Wu on the biggest difference in playing the pros. “They [are more] tough mentally and [have] more experience about how to win the match. About the technique… I think I am ready already.”
And Wu has reason to be confident in his game: In addition to his decorated junior resume, the foundations of his game are well set to develop into tangible threats at the ATP level. He’s…