Tennis Prose



Federer Offers Advices To Rising Chinese Star Yibing

By Scoop Malinowski

Wu Yibing is the ITF number one junior in the world and fresh off the junior US Open and Shanghai Challenger titles (where he defeated Peter Polansky and ATP 62 Yen-Hsen Lu in the final). Wu lost in the first round as a wildcard this week to Gilles Simon in straight sets but the seventeen year old’s recent exploits have caught the eye of Roger Federer.

“I maybe saw two points from him yesterday, so it would be wrong for me to comment on his game yet, but I was aware that he did win the US Open,” said Federer at his Shanghai press conference. “Didn’t know he became world No. 1 junior. So if that’s what he is at the moment, I hope he can finish that for himself at the end of the year. Maybe he’s going to the Orange Bowl. I’m not sure.”

Federer, the ATP no. 2 ranked player said he sees a few parallels between young Wu and the teenage version of himself. “It’s definitely a great starting point (for Wu). For him to play in a tournament like this and starting to play against the best, that’s what I did in ’98, as well. I played some juniors and then got some wildcards into some main draws, played some qualies, played some Challengers. And you get a feel for it, the week in, week out, playing against men, really. It’s a different energy you need, a different experience you need.”

“So I think here now it’s about improving every single day. It sounds a bit crazy or a bit kitsch. But it really is like this. I think at this age you see things that maybe other players are doing on the court, off the court, and you can observe and learn.”

“So I think that’s really important of him. And then for him to choose the right things to take on board for his game and for his life, because you can also look at the wrong things that players are doing. That can then mislead you sometimes in the wrong direction, so this is where the team is really important where they remind you, as well, what’s the difference between right and wrong.”

Federer did not stop there. His generosity of valuable instruction for Wu continued. “And then just understanding where is your game best at. Is it indoors, is it hard carts, clay court, grass court, is it in Europe, in Asia? Where does he play his best? And finding that out takes a few years. Everything goes faster if you have the right team around yourself. And of course you have to listen to your coaches and parents and put your head down and work extremely hard and just enjoy the process doing that.”

Wu, currently ranked 323 and sponsored by Nike shoes, attire and Head racquets, splits his training time between Spain and China. His Spanish coach says he plays like a more aggressive Gael Monfils but Wu himself says he tries to pattern his game after Andy Murray.

Simon senses a bright future for Wu. After their Monday match, the French veteran said of Wu, “When he was in the zone, he hit fantastic winners, especially down-the-line. As he improves, he’ll be hard to beat.”

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  • Hartt · October 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Naturally, Fed gives excellent advice.

    And Yibing is playing doubles with partner Di Wu. They won their match over Roger-Vasselin/Martin and tomorrow they face the No. 7 doubles seed, Marach/Pavic.

    Several singles players are also playing doubles including Kyrgios, Pouille, Anderson, Fognini, and Ryan Harrison. And of course Feli Lopez, who regularly plays both.

  • Hartt · October 10, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Much to my relief, Felix Auger-Aliassime just beat Jan Satral in the Fairfield Challenger. It took 3 sets, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. I hope that this means Felix is over his recent slump. It would be great if he could make the top 150 this season – he is now at No. 159.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 10, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    That's a very good win for Wuwu. I hope they play against Wawrinka and James Ward at some point in the future. 🙂 I like how Federer gives seriously helpful and intricate advices to young players so openly. Another aspect of his greatness and generosity.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Good win for Felix. Satral won a set off of Shapovalov in the third round of US Open qualies.

  • Duke Carnoustie · October 10, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    You know who is playing well? Tsitsipas. He has beaten Rendy Lu, Tiafoe, Gojo and Khachanov. I like him to take down Isner.

    PCB loss means Anderson and Querrey can gain on the road to London. Standing on the way of Som-brero is his first matchup with Tiafoe. Looks like a big one.

  • Duke Carnoustie · October 10, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Fed conceded No. 1 to Rafa. I know what happened at the AO, IW and Miami but I think Nadal is the better player now. Hopefully we get some more H2H matches upcoming to prove me right.

  • Hartt · October 10, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Tsitsipas was shown watching Isner’s match, next to his father, I would guess. So he should have a good idea of what he will be up against.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 10, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Tsitsipas will send shockwaves through the ATP if he can beat Isner in his first crack at John who is playing very well right now. I have never ever seen Isner play a bad match or give one away, he's always as tough as nails and makes everyone earn it. Querrey vs Tiafoe is very interesting, Tiafoe could overwhelm Stoic Sam with his intensity. Kozlov got krushed in the third set 46 75 16 vs Mac Mac in Fairfield. Mac2 won the first eight points of the third set and dominated with his bigger serve. He's older and more experienced than Kozlov so it's not really a big surprise.

  • Thomas Tung · October 10, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    From what I’ve seen on Youtube, I like Wu’s game — he has that nice ability to surprise you with heavy shots and winners that seem to be struck with the exact same effort as a normal rally shot; you think he’s hitting normally in the rallies, then he surprises you with unexpected depth and pace — he’s in good physical condition and plays smart tennis, so I’m hoping for some good results, and a Top 20 ranking in 2-3 years seems reasonable (I’d like to see him in person next year at the US Open for a more detailed analysis).

  • Thomas Tung · October 10, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    As for shoes? I bought two pairs of the Nike Zoom Cage 2’s a couple of weeks back (during the big sale) — after a few days’ worth of breaking them in (mostly walking around with them), they feel great; relatively lightweight, but with plenty of stability and cushioning for the long matches and rallies. Only objection I have is that they’re a bit bulkier than I’d like (I’m coming from the very lightweight, low-to-the-ground Asics models). I hear that the Zoom Cage 3 has mostly fixed that issue, though. Will have to give those Mizunos Scoop talked about a try sometime, though.

  • Hartt · October 11, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Rafa won easily over Donaldson in SS, running away with the 2nd set. Jared was unlucky to have to face Rafa so early in the tourney.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 11, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    We just knew Rafa was going to devour the young calf. One thing about Rafa is he is merciless on all players, even the young NEXT GEN players. He is a killing machine. Impressed that Tsitsipas was able to battle Isner to 76 76 and a really close second set tiebreaker.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 11, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Thomas; I always remember Jimmy Arias saying about Marcelo Rios in my Rios book about how Rios could suddenly hit a ball 20 mph harder with the same exact swing as the other shots. Sounds like Wu has that uncanny ability too.

  • catherine · October 11, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Osaka bt Venus Williams SS in Hong Kong – Venus looked a little slow to me – from the bits I saw. Time catching up now ?

    Radwanska lost 0 in the 3rd v Stosur – I can’t make her out. A mystery to me – as if she belongs in the amateur era rather than now.

  • Front242 · October 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    He's using his inner chi and power of Wu Shu :p

  • Dan Markowitz · October 11, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Federer used the word “ktsch?”

    I was watching some of that Wu-Simon match and the kid did a brilliant down the line backhand winner. But he looked pretty small. They list him at 6, but it didn’t look like that on tv.



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