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Wu Yibing aims to break into world tennis top 30 this year

CGTN| Updated: February 16, 2023 L M S

Wu Yibing, China's highest ranked men's tennis player, is aiming to break into the top 30 this year after a historic win – but in an exclusive interview he told CGTN Europe he won't stop there. 

Wu became the first player from China to win an ATP title as he held off American John Isner in a thrilling final to claim the Dallas Open, and the 23-year-old's breakthrough could inspire future generations.

China's number one said "My goal for this year is top 30 [of the world rankings] – and of course top 10 is going to be my goal for the future." 

Breaking into the top 100 hasn't affected the player from Hangzhou City's focus. "I have to still keep myself together and be humble and work hard," he said. "This has always been my way, so that the result and the ranking will come.  

Wu Yibing shows off his burgeoning talent during his early years learning the game.

Before Sunday's victory, no Chinese man had ever reached a tour-level final in the professional era – or defeated a top 10 opponent. Wu has done both, having also upset American world number eight Taylor Fritz in the semi-finals in Dallas.

Wu recognized the impact the result could have on Chinese tennis. 

"It's very special for me personally and also for my country," he said. "Making history in an ATP Tour final and winning is not only the work of this week, we've been working on this for a really long time and finally the Chinese fans get to see a ATP tour champion from their own country."

Wu is ranked in the world's top 100 men's tennis players following victory in Dallas./George Walker/Getty Images via CFP/

Wu started playing tennis in 2004 after China won the women's Olympic doubles. Li Ting and Sun Tiantian defeated Spain's Conchita Martinez and Virginia Ruano Pascual in the final to win gold and Wu revealed how it changed his approach to sport.

"When I began to start to play tennis, I never thought 'I'm going to be a professional athlete,'" he explained. 

"My parents and family all supported me to keep going and keep playing tennis and it turns out that I have like people like the coach saying, 'This guy, he has a great talent.'"

Wu did not compete on the ATP Tour for almost three years due to a series of injuries and until Sunday had just six tour-level wins as a professional. He told CGTN he has persevered because of his love of the game and had this message for those who want to follow in his footsteps.

"You have to love the things you are doing. It's very important you have faith in yourself and that you are doing something you really like to do."

Judging by the smile on his face as he received the trophy in Dallas, winning is a source of satisfaction too, and he hopes it will help him achieve more success in 2023.

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