ATP Dallas: Yibing Wu downs Denis Shapovalov and makes statement

Yibing Wu is playing his first tournament as a top-100 player

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Dallas: Yibing Wu downs Denis Shapovalov and makes statement

The 23-year-old Yibing Wu became the second Chinese top-100 player, achieving that a couple of weeks after Zhizhen Zhang. Entering the ATP 250 Dallas event this week, Yibing scored two victories to enter the quarter-final, becoming the fourth Chinese player to achieve that on the Tour.

Wu ousted the 3rd seed Denis Shapovalov 7-6, 6-4 in the second round for his first top-30 victory in a career. Yibing claimed the US Open junior title in 2017 and secured his first Challenger crown a couple of weeks later, still at 17.

Instead of building on that, the young gun struggled with injuries, staying home in China in 2018 and taking a break from the sport in March 2019. Yibing did not compete in 2020 and 2021, experiencing one setback after another but never stopping believing.

Ranked outside the top-1700 last April, Wu kicked off an impressive comeback, showing his quality at Futures and Challengers and earning enough points to crack the top-100 less than a year later.

Yibing Wu is through to his first ATP quarter-final in Dallas.

Yibing has reached five Challenger finals during this period, losing the one in Cleveland last week and shifting the form to Dallas.

The Chinese player produced better numbers behind the second serve than the Canadian and grabbed an extra break. Yibing saved three out of five break points and stole Denis' serve three times from six chances to emerge at the top and remain on the title course.

A left-hander hit a double fault in the encounter's second game to experience a break and an early setback. Yibing saved a break point in the third game to confirm the lead before Denis forced his mistake at 1-3 to pull the break back and gain a boost.

The Chinese served at 4-4 and hit a careless forehand to face a break point. He denied it with a service winner, and they both served well in the remaining games to introduce a tie break. Wu delivered an early mini-break and moved 5-1 up when Shapovalov placed a forehand long.

Yibing grabbed his third mini-break in the seventh point and seized the first set point for 7-1 and massive momentum. Wu broke at the start of the second set, and Shapovalov erased the deficit with a break in game four. The Chinese produced three fine holds after that setback, challenging the rival to repeat that.

Instead, Yibing clinched a break at 3-3 with a forehand return winner and built the crucial advantage. The Chinese served for the victory in game ten and sealed the deal with a service winner that pushed him into the last eight.

Atp Dallas Yibing Wu Denis Shapovalov