Wu Yibing becomes first Chinese man to reach the US Open third round since 1881
Updated June 24, 2017, 4:36 p.m. ET
Wu Yibing became the first Chinese man to win a major at the US Open in the third round since 1881.
NEW YORK — In the third round of the U.S. Open, the only Asian-American man in the draw, Wu Yibing, advanced to the round of 16 with a 7-6 (5) 6-4 win over eighth-seeded and second-seeded Tomas Berdych.
Wu became the first Chinese man to reach the third round since the U.S. Open began being played in 1881. Wu defeated ninth-seeded and third-seeded Robert Kendrick and eighth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta. Berdych, ranked 16th, was making his U.S. Open debut to start the week.
The U.S. Open is the first Grand Slam tournament in which no Chinese players have appeared in the third round of the singles draw since John McEnroe was the first in 1978.
“He was not a good player when I saw him, but he’s better now,” Berdych said of Wu, 30, who won the U.S. Open junior title in 2014 and reached the third round at the Australian Open in 2016. “I told him to stick to his guns and just play. It is what it is. There is no need to be scared of me.”
Wu was ranked No. 1 in China this year, by the country’s Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), by the Association of Chinese Professionals (ACP) and by the WTA.
He is the first Chinese to advance to the third round of a U.S. Open in the Open era, which officially spans from Arthur Ashe’s victory at Ashe Stadium in 1965 through the 2017 U.S. Open. Prior to that, just one Chinese man, the first at the U.S. Open at Madison Square Garden in 1971, had made it to his first round of the men’s singles draw at the U.S. Open since 1881.