Chung Makes Singles Return At Home: 'I Am So Grateful'

  • Posted: May 10, 2023

Chung Makes Singles Return At Home: ‘I Am So Grateful’

South Korean reflects on first two tournaments back

Hyeon Chung was once one of the most promising young talents on the ATP Tour. The inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals champion in 2017, the South Korean has struggled for several years with injuries.

But the 26-year-old is on the road back. Chung played his first singles match in two and a half years two weeks ago at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Seoul and was back in action on Tuesday in Busan at the Head Busan Open.

The former World No. 19 lost his return match to Jordan Thompson in straight sets, but showed signs of improvement in a three-set loss Tuesday to Yasutaka Uchiyama.

“It is still a shame that I did not win. I played my best [on] every point… I played for more than two hours, so I am satisfied with the way that I played today,” Chung said in answers provided by tournament staff. “For my part, I would like to give myself credit for finishing the match without any injuries or soreness, and last but not least, I have given all I had for each point.”

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Chung found tennis takeaways from the match, but was most pleased with battling on court for two hours and 35 minutes.

“It would have been better if I had used [the] court widely, but I was too rigid, and my opponent strongly dragged me around,” Chung said. “The most notable thing about today’s game is that I finished with playing more than two hours of [an] actual match. Despite training for more than two hours, [I] never played more than two hours of [an] actual match.”

Fans might notice a change in Chung’s service motion. He brings his serving arm into a “trophy position” before tossing the ball and serving.

“This is the least injury-prone, least uncomfortable serve movement,” Chung said. “At the moment, avoiding injuries is more important than being able to make a powerful serve.”

Chung was hoping he could play multiple matches in Busan to gain rhythm and get used to competing in a match setting again. After playing two tournaments in South Korea, he will start to look overseas.

“At the moment, there are no games that can be played in the country. My team and I will review the overseas competition schedule and protected rankings so that I can play as many ATP events as possible,” Chung said. “There is no doubt in my mind that I will try overseas tours again.”

Chung’s focus has been on rehabilitation, and he believes that he will be able to shift that focus to more on-court training. The South Korean hopes that will help him return to his top level. For now, he is happy to have made his return to singles competition on home soil.

“I am so grateful to have a comeback match in Seoul and Busan,” Chung said. “Thanks a lot to my fans and to the tournament organisation for coming to see me and giving me this incredible opportunity. I will do my best to ensure my fans see the best performances I can provide.”

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