It was a long-awaited victory for comeback-seeker Jeong Hyun, 27, who finally tasted victory. Five games to six.
It was the first round of the 메이저놀이터 men’s singles qualifying match for the Wimbledon 2023 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, near London, England, on Monday (June 26).
The 183rd-ranked Chung claimed a thrilling 2-1 (6-2, 3-6, 6-3) victory over Dimitar Kuzmanov (30-Bulgaria) in a one-hour, 49-minute match. Chung, who has no world ranking due to an extended absence from ATP Tour events due to injury, used his ‘protected ranking’ (159th) to compete in the grass court tournament for the second consecutive time.(Sports Seoul May 23)
It was his first victory since returning to court at the Seoul Open Challenger in late April after recovering from a nagging back injury. Prior to this tournament, Chung had tasted the pain of a first-round exit at a grass court tournament in England.
His next opponent is the 158th-ranked Enzo Cuaco (28-FR), who needs to win two more matches to qualify for Wimbledon.
“I’m happy to be able to spend time on the court after a few injury-plagued years,” Chung said after the match, according to AFP.
Chung made it to the last four at the 2018 Australian Open, where he defeated world number one Novak Djokovic (Serbia) in the men’s singles round of 16, but he had to retire in the second set of his quarterfinal match against Roger Federer (Switzerland) with a plantar injury.
Since then, he has been plagued by back problems that have kept him from shining on the ATP Tour, much to the chagrin of his fans. The first round of the men’s singles qualifying at the 2020 French Open was the last ATP Tour event that Chung played.
At the ATP Tour Korea Open in September last year, Chung tried to make a comeback by playing doubles as a wildcard alongside Kwon Soon-woo, a year his junior. They won two matches but were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Her injury flared up again and she was unable to compete in singles, and she made her first appearance at the Seoul Open Challenger in April, but did not win. The same happened at the Busan Open Challenger.
Chung has been able to compete this grass court season because of the protected ranking that ATP and WTA Tour players can request if they are physically injured and unable to compete for at least six months. This allows her to play between nine and 12 tour events.