04 Sep 2017

Wu and Miladinovic first round winners at US Open

News Article

By Sandra Harwitt

Photo: Susan MullaneYibing Wu (CHN)

Wu Yibing might only be 17-years-old, but the Chinese junior who hails from Hangzhou, Shejang, China knows exactly what his career aim is in tennis.

“I hope to be doing my best and try to be the first one to get to be in the Top 100 from China,” Wu said. “Sooner than later it’s going to happen.”

Thus far, the two best male players from China tipped the ranking scales at just below No. 150. Wu Di ranked as high as No. 140 and Zhang Ze topped out at No. 148.

The second-seeded Wu needed only 54-minutes to bypass Dan Added of France 63 64 in the US Open boys’ first round. Wu is putting together a good season at the Grand Slams this year, reaching the semifinals of singles and doubles in Australia and the quarterfinals in singles at Wimbledon.

“It’s nice, it’s the first time I win singles at the US Open,” Wu said. “It (Australia) was a great experience and it gave me a lot of confidence.”

It’s not about just playing the game for Wu, who tries to take in a bit of sightseeing at the places he goes.

“It’s a dream to play here and you can enjoy a lot, not just tennis,” Wu said. “I enjoy New York. I enjoy the Big Apple. I go to Times Square to look around, but normally it’s like here, the hotel and some restaurants.”

Wu trains between China and Madrid, Spain, where he works with Garcia Sanchez Nahun. No one, however, should be confused into thinking that Wu has a penchant for playing on clay courts. But he knows it will benefit his game.

“Not too much,” he said, when asked if he prefers clay. “Clay is about footwork and to have more patience to get more rallies and try to take the right chance.”

It was also a good first day in US Open action for fifth seed Marko Miladinovic of Serbia, who posted a 63 62 win over Sergio Luis Hernandez Ramirez of Colombia.

“I’m very happy about this win today because I played good,” Miladonivc said. “I couldn’t find my rhythm in the first five games, but then I was fine. I’m very happy because this is the last Grand Slam of the year.”

The 16-year-old Belgrade native arrived in New York straight from a Grade 1 victory at the Les Internationaux de Tennis Junior Banque Nationale du Canada tournament. In the spring he reached the final at the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio tournament in Milan, Italy.

This is only Miladinovic’s third Grand Slam junior tournament - he also competed at Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year, reaching the first and second rounds, respectively.

Miladinovic admits that his preference is for clay so of the three junior majors he’s played his favorite is Roland Garros.

The Serbian found a path to tennis when he was six-years-old because his parents played the sport twice a week for fun. Initially, it was all about fun for him, too, but then it changed.

“I wanted to have fun, but then I just started to play tournaments,” he said.

As for New York, Miladinovic’s hoping to follow in Wu’s footsteps: “I haven’t been to Times Square yet, but I will go to see it today. Everybody said it is great to see.”

In girls’ action, 16th seed Liang En Shou of Taipei posted a 64 36 63 win over Daniela Vismane of Latvia.

An Australian Open singles quarterfinalist at the beginning of the year, 16-year-old Liang is playing at the US Open for the first time.

She discovered tennis when she was six-years-old after following another pursuit.

“At first, I play for exercise,” she said. “I played piano before, but my mom wanted me to have exercise. No, I don’t play piano anymore. I liked it, but I like tennis more.”

The top seeds in the boys’ and girls’ draw came through with straight set victories in the first round on Monday. Top seed Axel Geller of Argentina defeated Andrew Fenty of USA 63 64, while top seed Whitney Osuigwe of the USA, the reigning Roland Garros girls’ champion, was a 61 64 winner over Margaryta Bilokin of Ukraine.