Fifth-Set Frenzy: Chung’s Comeback Win Highlights US Open Trend
Hyeon Chung is on the rise once again at the US Open, scoring his second consecutive five-set win on Thursday against Fernando Verdasco to reach the third round. The South Korean, champion at the inaugural 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals, is far from alone in his penchant for five-set battles this week, though.
Twenty-three matches went to a fifth set in the first two rounds in New York, almost guaranteeing that the US Open will have more matches going the distance than any other Grand Slam this year or in 2018.
Five-Set Grand Slam Matches (2018 & 2019)
|Grand Slam||Total Five-Set Matches|
|2018 Australian Open||24|
|2018 Roland Garros||25|
|2018 US Open||17|
|2019 Australian Open||24|
|2019 Roland Garros||24|
|2019 US Open||23 (through two rounds)|
Chung is among five players who doubled their pleasure in scoring back-to-back five-set victories to reach the third round. Joining him in the feat are sixth seed Alexander Zverev, Alexander Bublik, Paolo Lorenzi and Kamil Majchrzak.
Chung, Lorenzi and Majchrzak showed supreme fitness by also weathering three matches in the qualifying draw. The South Korean’s win over Verdasco, which involved saving a match point at 5-6 in the final set, was one of four matches so far this week to conclude in a fifth-set tie-break.
Meanwhile, Zverev has proven to be the last opponent anyone wants to face in a final set at a Grand Slam. He boosted his fifth-set record at majors this week to 12-5, winning nine of his past 10 matches that went the distance.
The South Korean spent a minute under seven hours on court in his first two rounds, proving he’s fully recovered from the back injury that sidelined him for five months this season. Chung returned to action on the ATP Challenger Tour in July and won the first event of his comeback in Chengdu.
He’ll need all of his remaining energy for a high-octane third-round clash on Saturday against second seed Rafael Nadal.