SEOUL (Reuters) – Tipped as one of the few contenders capable of beating Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros this year, rising South Korean talent Chung Hyeon will owe his brother a debt of gratitude if he manages to defeat the Spaniard on his favorite surface.
Chung gave Asian tennis a lift by reaching the Australian Open semi-finals in January and while that campaign came to an end when he retired injured due to blisters against eventual champion Roger Federer, the 21-year-old has since proved the stunning run was no fluke.
Career - High - World - Month - Chung
Rising to a career high of 19 in the world last month, Chung reached the quarter-finals on the hardcourts of Delray Beach, Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami before making it to the last four on clay at the Munich Open.
The only blip on his stellar 2018 came with a first-round exit to Robin Haase in Madrid.
Chung - Matches - Nadal - Year - Open
While Chung has played only two matches against Nadal, losing both last year, the South Korean revealed at the Australian Open he had been preparing to face the Spaniard for most of his tennis life thanks to his earliest adversary — his brother Hong.
“It was similar like mini-tennis,” said Chung, who has modeled his game on Novak Djokovic.
Model - Novak - Brother - Rafa
“My model was Novak, and my brother liked Rafa because...
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