Wu Yibing becomes first Chinese man to reach the US Open third round since 1881
DANNY RAYNOR is not just a tennis player.
He is an ambassador.
The 22-year-old from Beijing has used his talents for good in China and now he hopes to use his game to spread Chinese culture to the world.
As he prepares for the season-opener, the Shanghai doubles team of Raynor and Kevin Liu has been selected as the ambassadors for this year’s China Open.
The tournament is held in Shenzhen, the capital of China’s southern province Guangdong, and is designed as a celebration of the Chinese cultural and sports heritage.
Although Raynor has won a tournament in the United States before, he is the first Chinese man to qualify for an ATP tournament in the United States since 1881.
Raynor said he was inspired by Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.
“I’m an idol figure for him in his homeland, and I’m sure there’s a little bit of that for me too,” Raynor said of Federer.
“When you play a sport with the world’s best players, you get a lot of attention, so I think I’m going to be a good ambassador for the Chinese tennis scene, too.”
The Chinese tennis team of Raynor, Liu and partner Lu Yue will play the first round.
Raynor said he wants the Chinese team to be “on the forefront of the tennis world” once again.
“I think that the Chinese male team has been very good in the past because they have been very consistent,” Raynor said. “And that was important for us.”
While Chinese tennis often draws comparisons with Federer and his countrymen Novak Djokovic, Raynor said he does not want to compare himself with the current tennis leaders of the world.
“I’m pretty sure I’m not compared to the present-day tennis leaders of the world,” Raynor said. “But I hope they’re going to see us as ambassadors for the Chinese tennis scene, too.”