Taiwan’s Yang Tsung-hua soared to 250th in the ATP men’s singles rankings this week — the best ranking of his career — after a strong month and he hopes it will be good enough to get him direct entry into the US Open qualifying draw.
Yang, playing in a second-tier Challenger event in Beijing this week, captured 64 ranking points last month to improve his ranking by 77 places from the beginning of the month.
With Monday the cutoff date for direct entry to the US Open men’s singles qualifiers, Yang may have just sneaked into a qualifying position with a semi-final finish (29 points) at a Challenger tournament in Inner Mongolia last week.
Last year, players ranked in the top 257 earned direct entry into the men’s singles qualifying draw.
“My current ranking gives me a real good chance to play in the US Open qualifier, but even if I don’t get in directly, I will definitely go anyway,” Yang said.
The 20-year-old has never played in a Grand Slam at the professional level, though he won the boys’ singles at the French Open in 2008, and reaching the US Open has been a major goal of his this year.
Yang, who is fitter and technically better than in the past, attributed his recent success to playing tournaments outside of Asia, mostly in Europe and South America.
“The players there are often stronger, more skilled and have higher rankings,” Yang said.
He recommended other Asian players to leave their comfort zones for other parts of the world to see how others train and compete.
This week, Yang is in a comfort zone of his own in Beijing, where he has spent some time training this year.
In the tournament’s first round, he beat Harri Heliovaara of Finland 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to set up a -second-round clash with Guillaume Rufin of France, ranked 223 in the world.