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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday February 7, 2023

When we think “here come the Chinese” in tennis we generally think of the women. Thanks to trailblazers like Li Na and Zheng Jie, we expect a certain degree of excellence from the Chinese women. This week we are talking about the men and it's about time...

Tennis Express

For the first time in history, two Chinese men are inside the Top-100 after Wu Yibing joined Zhang Zhizhen thanks to his appearance in the Cleveland Challenger final this weekend (he lost to Aleks Kovacevic).

Wu, ranked 97, and Zhang, 91, are the first two Chinese men to ever crack the ATP's Top-100. Zhang first broke the Top-100 at No.97 on October 24th of last year. And the hope doesn't stop there. Shang Juncheng (aka Jerry Shang) is angling to be the third Chinese man to crack the century mark. Shang, who has spent much of his youth training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, may be the Chinese man with the biggest upside.

The Beijing native strolls in at 165 this week – and he’s only just turned 18.

Shang became the first Chinese man to win a match at the Australian Open last month, and he's also the first 17-year-old male to win a match at a major since Carlos Alcaraz at the Aussie Open in 2021.

Andrew Eichenholz of (always worth the read) profiled the Chinese men this week to mark the occasion.

According to Eichenholz, Wu calls Zhang “Big Jerry” and Shang “Little Jerry.”

“I feel like we’ve always been together,” Wu was quoted as saying. “Even though we have some different schedules. Big Jerry, he always plays in Europe. Me and Little Jerry, we’re here in the States. We’re always following each other and we look up to each other.

“It’s a very nice competition between the three of us and hopefully let’s make some more history for Chinese men’s tennis.”

After the crowning success of the Chinese women, led by two-time Grand Slam singles champion and Hall of Famer Li, the men have failed to follow. Now they are here, showing their promise – could it finally be time for the Chinese men to thrive?