Korean men’s tennis has advanced to the Davis Cup Finals, where the world’s top 16 compete for the second year in a row, by writing a dramatic drama.
Korea, led by head coach Park Seung-gyu (KDB Industrial Bank), defeated Belgium with an overall score of 3-2 in the final round of the 2023 Davis Cup (4 singles, 1 doubles) held at the indoor tennis stadium in Seoul Olympic Park on the 5th.
Korea, which advanced to the Davis Cup Finals by beating Austria 3-1 last year, has made it to the World Round of 16 for the second year in a row. In particular, the joy was greater because it was a victory achieved with a double electrode to win all the remaining three matches after giving up in the first and second singles the previous day.
Korean men’s tennis has advanced to the finals for the fifth time after 1981, 1987, 2007, and 2022, but this is the first time it has reached the round of 16 for two consecutive years.
Since they were drawn 0-2 from the beginning of the 5 games, Korea’s odds didn’t look great. Moreover, the pair of doubles Song Min-gyu (147th, KDB Industrial Bank) and Nam Ji-seong (152nd, Sejong City Hall) ranked lower than their opponents, Yoran Bligen (53rd) and Zander Jill (55th), and Kwon Soon-woo (Dangjin City Hall) of 3 singles. This is because both City Hall, 61st) and Hong Seong-chan (Myongji University, 237th) in the 4th singles were all pushed out in objective power by David Gopin (41st) and Jiju Berris (115th), respectively.
However, the round of 16 came like a lie.
Song Min-gyu and Nam Ji-seong won 2-0 (7-6<7-3> 7-6<7-5>) against Bligen-Jil Joe in doubles, laying the foundation for a double play. The watershed of the game was the ‘ace confrontation’ between Kwon Soon-woo and Go Paeng-gan. Kwon Soon-woo gave up the first set, but won 메이저놀이터 come-from-behind.
Soon-Woo Kwon failed to keep a 2-0 lead in the first set, but changed the atmosphere by running away to 5-0 in the second set, and Gopin suffered a bleeding in his left wrist after the second set, and his performance plummeted. Gopin is a strong player who climbed to 7th in the world rankings in 2017 and reached the quarterfinals in singles four times in major tournaments.
It was Hong Seong-chan, the last runner, who completed the dramatic drama. Hong Seong-chan, who is more of a defensive type, was hit by an offensive type Berris with a serve speed of 213km/h, and steadily rallied, pulling out the opponent’s mistakes and winning 2-0 (6-3 7-6 <7-4>). After leading 5-0 in the second set tie-break, they were chased 6-4, but finished the set calmly. He was calm enough to go 21-51 on errors, 30 fewer than Berris.
After the game, coach Park said, “I had to win the doubles to play the 3rd and 4th singles, so I bet on this, and it led to good results.” “The experience of reaching the finals last year was very helpful. Thanks to that, Hong Seong-chan won the challenger competition after that and was able to confidently play in the big game today.”