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Yen-Hsun Lu won his 300th match on the ATP Challenger Tour.

Lu Hits 300 Challenger Wins Milestone

Yen-Hsun Lu has made his mark on the ATP Challenger Tour. 

ATPWorldTour.com pays tribute to Yen-Hsun Lu, who has become the second player to record 300 match wins on the ATP Challenger Tour.

With the emergence of Japan’s Kei Nishikori and South Korea’s Hyeon Chung, Asian tennis has catapulted to the forefront of the ATP World Tour and is benefitting from newfound exposure on a global scale.

World No. 6 Nishikori and 18-year-old Chung are leading the charge in the burgeoning tennis market in the Far East, but there is one player who has carried the torch for many years and paved the way for their arrival.

That is Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu. On Wednesday, the man they affectionately call ‘Rendy’ had his moment in the spotlight.

With his second round victory over Jarmere Jenkins at the Lecoq Seoul Open, Lu made ATP Challenger Tour history in becoming just the second player to achieve 300 match wins. He joined Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo as the only men to have crossed the threshold.

"It’s really great for my tennis career," Lu told ATPWorldTour.com. "For me it is very important. Every year I’ve been consistent in playing at my level and to be the second player to reach 300 Challenger wins is great. I’ll keep going and hopefully I can win even more matches and at the tour-level events too."

ATP CHALLENGER TOUR MATCH WINS LEADERS

Player
Career Challenger Match Record
1) Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo
370-232
2) Yen-Hsun Lu
300-127
3) Paolo Lorenzi
*297-204
4) Filippo Volandri
295-163
5) Kevin Kim
283-265

*The ‘300 Wins Club’ could get even more crowded next week, with Lorenzi competing in Eskisehir, Turkey.

The 31-year-old Taipei City native has carved his place in ATP Challenger Tour lore during his 15-year career, amassing a record 21 titles from a record 35 finals on the circuit. The undisputed Challenger king, Lu has triumphed in nine consecutive finals and 13 of his last 14 since 2008. He has won a title in each of the past 11 seasons and it is apropos that the World No. 65 would reach the historic milestone in the Korean capital, where he completed a three-peat from 2010-‘12.

Lu acknowledges that the tour has greatly contributed to the longevity of his career. "For me, the Challengers have been very important if you don’t have 100 per cent confidence and need to regain it on the court. I’m always trying to focus on each match and each tournament, to win and be on my game. The Challenger level has helped me a lot to improve and play my best tennis and prepare me for bigger (ATP World Tour) tournaments."

"Rendy has shown the newer generation of Asian players that it is possible to have great consistency, both when in familiar surroundings and on the road," said ATP supervisor Carl Baldwin. "He is nearly always there in the latter stages whenever you see him and it is no surprise he is the first Asian player to reach this milestone."

Lu was only 17 years old when his father died of a sudden heart attack, a loss that profoundly affected him to the extent that he quit the game for a period. A brief period. The Taiwanese one day recalled that his father had a dream that he compete on the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon and enter the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. This memory drove Rendy back to tennis and his father's dreams would soon become a reality.

Now a stalwart in the Top 100 for all but 12 weeks over the past seven years, he reached a career-high World No. 33 in November 2010. While Lu has enjoyed his share of success at the ATP World Tour, including a memorable five-set win over Andy Roddick en route to the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2010, and a first singles final at last year’s Heineken Open in Auckland, his contributions to the game extend much further. At 5’11” and 163 lbs, the 31 year old has been a consistent presence in the ATP landscape, proving that height is not proportional to heart.

Today, Lu competes with the same level of enthusiasm as he had when he turned pro in 2001. With his wife Chien Chung-wen and newborn son Lu Wei-Chen (born 30 October 2014) in his corner, he remains a player to be feared.

When asked to identify his most memorable win on the Challenger circuit, he pointed to a trio of titles on home soil in the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung. The champion in 2007, ‘13-14, sharing the moment of victory with his countrymen has been a great source of pride for Lu.

"When you’re holding the trophy in front of your countrymen, it’s the greatest moment for your tennis career. You want to play your best tennis in front of your people and I’ve never forgotten this feeling."

Lu could potentially square off with home hope Chung in a blockbuster semi-final in Seoul, as he continues his quest for an unprecedented 22nd title. In assessing his goals for the tournament and the rest of the season, he says he is focusing on enjoying the moment and is taking it one match at a time.

"There are still six or seven more months in the year. I’m almost 32 and I’m trying to keep myself healthy and enjoy each tournament more on the court."