Wu Yibing & Zhang Zhizhen make Chinese history, qualify for US Open | ATP Tour

entering this US Openno Chinese had ever taken part in the main draw in the Open Era. This year there will be two.

Wu Yibing and Zhang Zhizhen battled their way through qualifying, both earning their way into the peloton with wins on a rainy day at Flushing Meadows on Friday.

Wu, the 2017 US Open Boys singles champion, was the first to advance as he beat the Frenchman Corentin Moutet 7-6(5), 6-2. This was the 22-year-old’s first attempt to qualify for a Major.

“Of course I’m happy. I’m happy to be back and playing at a big event here since 2017 when I won here. It’s very special to me, but I’m just trying to play my tennis, show people or myself that I can still play,” Wu said. “It’s been a tough few years for me. I really suffered from injuries and Covid in China. Seems like I can play a little more tennis.

“I’m happy with what I’ve done here. I love the people here, the crowd. A lot of Chinese came to support, I love it.”

Wu returned to the court as a spectator to watch as his friend Zhang was overthrown Zizou mountains 6-2, 6-4.

“It’s easy for him because he won the juniors here. He hasn’t lost a match in five years US Open!” Zhang said and burst out laughing. “I was surprised that I passed the qualies because it’s obviously my first time here. I played pretty well on clay after grass. I didn’t expect to get through here.”

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Before the Open Era, the only Chinese men who competed in the Open Era were US Open Main draw were Kong Paul in 1924, Cheng Guy in 1935 and Choy Wai-Chuen in 1940 and 1941. This is the first time two Chinese men have competed in the tournament’s main draw in the same year.

German Maximilian Martiner expands his US Open Qualifying win streak to nine earlier in the day when it took him just 68 minutes to beat the Italian Riccardo Bonadio 6-4, 6-3 and earn a spot in the peloton. The 27-year-old Marterer also qualified for the last major of the year in 2017 and 2021. Now he wants to survive the first round in Flushing Meadows for the first time. The left-hander also advanced through qualifying to reach the Australian Open and Wimbledon protagonist this season.

Norbert Gombos had to wait patiently for his chance to reach the peloton after rain halted his attempt to play his final qualifying round match against the Frenchman Hugo Grenier 5:3 in the last set. When play resumed, the Slovakian, who had failed in four previous attempts to win by qualifying in New York, kept his nerve and qualified 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 for his third Major of the year Season. Gombos was a direct participant in the main draw in 2017, 2020 and 2021.

home favourite Christopher Eubanks qualified for the second straight year after recovering from a deficit to beat Italy Raul Brancaccio 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. The former Georgia Tech standout is advancing to his first Grand Slam peloton of 2022 (sixth overall).

another american, Brandon Holtdefeated Dimitar Kuzmanov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to qualify for his first major draw. Holt, the son of WTA legend Tracy Austin, missed three match points before the second rain delay of his match but returned to Court 11 to finish the job with his fifth match point.

Former world number 33 Argentina Federico Delbonis needed three sets on consecutive days to reach the peloton, including a third-round win on Friday over Dutchman Jesper de Jong 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-4.

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