Yibing Wu and John Isner withdraw from Delray Beach after epic final

Yibing Wu and John Isner stayed on the court for almost three hours in the Dallas final

by Jovica Ilic
Yibing Wu and John Isner withdraw from Delray Beach after epic final

Yibing Wu and John Isner have had enough tennis in Dallas, and no one can blame them! Two rivals have withdrawn from this week's Delray Beach Open in Florida, unable to compete at another event following Sunday's epic final.

The 23-year-old Chinese fended off four match points in a thrilling 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 triumph in two hours and 58 minutes. Thus, Wu became the first ATP champion from China, cracking the top-50 on Monday and hoping for more in the rest of the season.

Yibing missed almost three years between 2019 and 2022, struggling with injuries and making an impressive return a year ago. After a couple of Challenger titles, Wu went further in Dallas and achieved some notable milestones for himself and his country.

The 37-year-old veteran Isner missed a massive chance to lift a trophy in front of the home fans. He squandered a match point on the return in the second set's 12th game and three more in the deciding tie break for a heartbreaking loss.

John withdrew from Delray Beach due to knee issues, not risking anything ahead of Indian Wells and Miami. Isner won two points more than Wu, but not the decisive ones. The American fired 44 aces and needed only one to match the best-of-three record of Ivo Karlovic from Halle 2015.

Yibing Wu and John Isner withdrew from the Delray Beach Open.

Wu saved all three break points, including the match point, and squandered two break chances, as they stayed neck and neck from start to finish. The Chinese created a break point already in the encounter's second game, and the American erased it with an ace.

Wu produced six comfortable holds and earned a set point on the return at 6-5 with a cracking backhand crosscourt winner. John saved it with a booming serve and took two mini-breaks in the tie break to clinch it 7-4 with his 17th ace!

The returners barely won a point in the second set's first nine games, and Wu held after two deuces in game ten for 5-5 and more drama. Isner found the rhythm on the return in game 12 and earned a match point when his rival sprayed a backhand error.

Yibing saved it after a baseline rally and introduced the second tie break, a must-win one for him. The Chinese grabbed an early mini-break and added another to clinch the breaker 7-3 and force a decider after an hour and 43 minutes.

The rivals remained focused in the third set and delivered 11 easy holds. Yibing faced troubles in game nine after playing against two break points. He denied both and brought the game home for more excitement. The deciding tie break saw more incredible serving, with no mini-breaks in the first 22 points!

Isner squandered match points at 6-5, 8-7 and 10-9, all on the return, and saved two on his serve at 6-7 and 8-9. Yibing wasted more opportunities at 11-10 and 12-11, with the last one being on his serve. However, the Chinese earned his fourth match point at 12-12 and seized it after the American's loose forehand for his first out of many ATP titles.

Yibing Wu John Isner