Kwon Soon-woo, a pillar of Korean men’s tennis (25, sponsored by CJ, ranked 54th in the world), took the men’s professional tennis (ATP) tour in earnest in 2019 and spent three years fighting a world-class player. There were many ups and downs in this process, but some results were achieved, and the ranking has been consistently maintained within the top 100. In addition, last year, he achieved his dream of winning the ATP Tour for the first time at the Astana Open. Now, he has become a mid-level player on a full-fledged tour with a lot of experience.
This experience is often a great asset in big competitions. At the Australian Open, the first major tennis tournament in 2022, Kwon Soon-woo’s assets accumulated over the past three years shone. He defeated Holger Rune (19, Denmark, 99th) 3-2 (3-6 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2) after a full set match in the first round of men’s singles on the first day of the tournament at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia on the 17th. ) to win back.
His opponent, Rune, is a 19-year-old rookie who hasn’t won a single major tournament yet, but is familiar to tennis fans. This is because he is the player who put Novak Djokovic (35, Serbia, 1st place) into a corner in the first round of the 2021 US Open held in August of last year. At that time, Rune bullied Djokovic by winning the first set and pushing the tie-break in the second set based on her strong strength and determination. In the end, after losing to Djokovic at the end of a tie-break in the second set, he collapsed by exposing his lack of stamina after the third set, but it was enough to leave a strong impression on the fans.
Kwon Soon-woo also struggled with Rune’s strength and ambition that day. After being dragged around with the break in the first game, he gave up one set. However, without collapsing, he calmly entered the second set and broke the opponent’s sub-game twice to create a set score of 1-1.
Unfortunately, Kwon Soon-woo did not continue the good flow in the third set. Rather, Rune again pushed Kwon Soon-woo to the advantage of strength and won the set, and took an early lead in the 4th set. At this time, an opportunity came to Kwon Soon-woo. Rune started to feel pain in her leg. Taking advantage of this opponent’s difficult condition, Kwon Soon-woo won the fourth set, and then continued to shake the opponent to win the final set, and the match was decided in 3 hours and 5 minutes. Rune, who has had little experience in major tournaments and has never played 5 sets since her professional debut, was eventually defeated by Kwon Soon-woo in a battle of magnificence and stamina.
With this, Soon-Woo Kwon succeeded in winning the Australian Open for the first time in his career. So far, they have won two wins at the French Open and one win each at Wimbledon and the US Open. Kwon Soon-woo, who finally succeeded in the challenge of 4 matches, continues his major challenge against Denis Shapovalov (23, Canada, 14th) in the second round.
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