Chung Creates Own Path To Pro Stardom
The rising Korean star impressed fans with his play at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Gwangju.
The inaugural ATP Challenger Tour event in Gwangju concluded on Sunday, but not without showing that there are plenty of promising Korean players on the rise.
#NextGen star Hyeon Chung has been making headlines for his top-level form over the last two years, but Yunseong Chung could soon be doing the same. The 18-year-old took wild cards into both the singles and doubles main draw of the $50,000 event in Gwangju, where he and fellow Korean teenager Soon Woo Kwon upset the No. 2 seeds on their way to the doubles semi-finals.
“It’s always nice to play and practice inside a big stadium like at Gwangju,” said Chung. “I wasn’t happy with my result in singles, but the doubles this week gave me more confidence.”
Chung is currently ranked No. 3 in the ITF Junior Rankings and reached the boys’ singles semi-finals at this year’s Australian Open, as well as at last year’s US Open. He’s also been getting advice from former Top 50 player Hyung-Taik Lee, who still dabbles on the ATP Challenger Tour at age 40 and reached the doubles final at last year’s $50,000 event in Seoul.
“Hyeon and Hyung-Taik are role models not only for me, but for all Korean tennis players,” said Chung. “I value them so much more than most of the tennis world does. I have been watching Hyung-Taik and have been playing closely with Hyeon. I truly believe that all I need to do is keep doing what they are doing.”
Chung has a current Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 652, but is expected to keep climbing up the rankings as he continues to get more experience at the professional level. As he enters his final year of junior competition, his intention is to focus almost exclusively on pro events and to become a mainstay on the ATP Challenger Tour in the near future.
“Building a better body and performance is my biggest goal for 2016, as well as getting stronger mentally for matches,” said Chung. “If I can do this, I believe I can soon get into the main draws of Challengers myself without a wild card.”