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Tennis player Wu Yibing makes first ATP Tour event semifinals | Updated: 2023-02-11 15:28
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Wu Yibing celebrates after the men's singles first round match against Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia at the 2022 US Open tennis championships in New York on August 29, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

After 73 minutes against French veteran Adrian Mannarino, the 23-year-old Chinese Wu Yibing held his nerve and moved on to the ATP Tour Dallas Open semifinals. In his next match, he will face the No.1 US player – and world No.7 - Taylor Fritz.

This marks the first time that Wu has made a tour-level semifinal, becoming the second Chinese person ever in the tour-level semifinal. His senior Pan Bing accomplished the feat in Seoul in 1995.

"It's gonna be a very tough match, especially against a home player. He has a great serve, great forehand, and great everything. So I just have to try to play my best and just enjoy the game. Hopefully, I can be more relaxed than today," Wu said after the win.

The two played each other in Hong Kong last year, where Wu lost in the deciding ten-point tiebreak 3-6,6-3,6-10.

Against a defensive opponent like Mannarino,who can get almost every ball on the court, Wu adopted rather a relaxed attitude. "I guess I have a pretty relaxed mentality," Wu said. "I just tried to enjoy the game. Why take it too seriously if it's the first time."

After a breakthrough 2022 season, Wu experienced a tough start in 2023. He lost to Alexei Popyrin, of Australia, in the Adelaide qualifying match. In the first round of the Australian Open, he also experienced a heartbreaking loss against Frenchman Corentin Moutet in five sets.

Wu said that he wants to crack into the Top 30 this year, a goal that is starting to look realistic. He has already beat Canadian Dennis Shapovalov, world No.27,in the second round in Dallas. After beating Mannarino, he now ranks at 83 in the world. He surpassed his countryman Zhang Zhizhen to become the Chinese mainland's top-ranked player.

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