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China's best male prospect continues at Australian Open juniors

(Xinhua)    19:53, January 23, 2017

China's latest male future prospect has entered round three of the Australian Open juniors tournament after another come-from-behind win over Britain's Fin Bass.

Wu Yibing, the boys' top seed at the Australian Open managed the pressure of being a set down by getting more aggressive in his service and return game to eventually outplay Bass 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

"During the rally I tried to change more offensive and go to the net, I think it's worked," the 17-year-old told reporters.

He said the early pressure was "normal because for a number of times I've been one set down, but I think I can manage it... be more focused and play my tennis."

That mental tenacity is why Wu is China's brightest prospect for an underrepresented segment in Chinese tennis. Wild card Mu Tao, 13th seed Zhao Lingxi and Wu are the only male singles players to travel to the Australian Open - albeit in the boys competition - while eight females made the Open's main draw. Mu and Zhao were both decisively beaten in round 1 in straight sets.

The male players' rankings aren't as high as might be expected -- China's Wu Di being the highest at 156 -- despite their best efforts in international tournaments, and Wu Yibing put it down to a lack of confidence in their play in the clutch moments.

"We are not as good as some of the best foreign players on the technical level," Wu said.

To improve on this front, Wu Yibing has a Spanish coach whom he has visited multiple times over the past two years.

"My serve improved a lot after being trained by my Spanish coach, (but) I need make more progress and hopefully I can enter into the top 100 in the future," Wu Yibing said.

Wu Yibing is currently world no. 931 in Opens, but world no. 3 in the juniors.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhang Tianrui, Bianji)

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