Director Lee Hyeong-taek’s AG outlook… “Kwon Soon-woo returns from injury, recovery of performance is key”

Orion Tennis Team coach Lee Hyung-taek, the ‘pioneer’ of Korean tennis, predicted Kwon Soon-woo (104th place, Dangjin City Hall)’s goal of winning the gold medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, saying, “It will not be easy, but it is not impossible.”

Coach Lee said, “It seems that Kwon Soon-woo’s sense of the game was less restored in the US Open, which was his first appearance after recovering from injury. The key is how much Kwon Soon-woo can recover his game before the Asian Games.”

Kwon Soon-woo won his second singles title at the 2nd tournament of the Adelaide International on the Men’s Professional Tennis (ATP) Tour in January of this year, showing off his upward trend by becoming the Korean with the most wins on the ATP Tour.

Korea took the lead in defeating Belgium in the final round of the Davis Cup held in Seoul in early February.

However, Kwon Soon-woo, who suffered a shoulder injury after being eliminated in the round of 16 of the ATP Tour Qatar Exxon Mobile Open in February, did not participate in the tournament and focused on treatment.

Kwon Soon-woo, who made his comeback after 6 months at the US Open, the last major tournament of the season, defeated Christopher Eubanks (30th, USA) 1-3 (3-6 4-6 6-0 4-6) in the first round of the singles finals. lost.

Kwon Soon-woo will head to Hangzhou after participating in the group stage of the 2023 Davis Cup finals (Finals) to be held in Valencia, Spain from the 12th to the 17th.

Kwon Soon-woo, who is scheduled to compete in both singles and doubles, will team up with Hong Seong-chan (Sejong City Hall) in doubles.

Kwon Soon-woo is aiming for the gold medal. If he wins a gold medal at the Asian Games, Kwon Soon-woo will receive military service benefits and be able to continue his tour life more stably.

However, it is not easy for him to win the gold medal. The rise of Chinese players is strong.

The Chinese players who are expected to be the biggest obstacle to Kwon Soon-woo’s win of the gold medal are Zhang Zizhen and Wu Yibing, ranked 67th and 86th in the world, respectively.

Zhang Zizhen, who has the highest world ranking among Chinese players, has yet to win an ATP tour tournament, but has been showing remarkable results in recent major tournaments.

Zhang Zhi advanced to the third round at this year’s French Open. It was the first time in 86 years since Ko Shin-gi in 1937 that a Chinese player advanced to the third round of the French Open men’s singles.

At the ongoing US Open, he caused a stir by defeating world number 5 Kasper Ruud (Norway) 3-2 (6-4 5-7 6-2 0-6 6-2) in the second round of singles.

Wu Yibing won the singles championship at the ATP Tour Dallas Open in February this year. Wu Yibing is the first Chinese player to win the ATP Tour.

In major competitions, Wu Yibing, whose best performance was reaching the third round at last year’s US Open, won a singles silver medal at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, the previous Asian Games.

Zhang Zizhen’s personal highest world ranking is 52nd, the same as Kwon Soon-woo. Wu Yibing is ranked 54th.

Kwon Soon-woo’s best performance in an individual major tournament is the third round of the 2021 French Open.

Coach Lee explained, “It may not be easy to win a gold medal as Zhang Zizhen and Wu Yibing are on the rise. Wu Yibing’s hometown is Hangzhou, so he may have a home ground advantage.”

Zhang Zizhen’s hometown is Shanghai, not far from Hangzhou.

However, Coach Lee emphasized, “As there are always many variables in the Asian Games, it is not impossible to win a gold medal.”

Coach Lee, who became the first Korean player to advance to the round of 16 of a major tournament at the 2000 US Open and rose to 36th in the world rankings, won two gold medals in his career at the Asian Games.

He won gold medals in the men’s team event in Bangkok in 1998 and Doha in 2006. The Asian Games tennis team event, which was played in 2nd, 1st doubles, will no longer be held starting from the 2018 Jakarta and Palembang competitions.안전놀이터

Coach Lee also won a singles silver medal at the 1998 Bangkok Games, a silver medal in the men’s singles, doubles and team event at the 2002 Busan Games, and a singles silver medal at the 2006 Doha Games.

Coach Lee said, “At every Asian Games, a gold medal was achieved in an event where no gold medal was expected.” He added, “It is important to see how well Kwon Soon-woo recovers his performance by the Asian Games. If he can regain his previous performance, he can aim for a gold medal. It is not an easy situation. “It will be more valuable if we win a gold medal,” he emphasized.

Regarding the doubles with Hong Seong-chan, “The two are friends of the same age. Hong Seong-chan is a good defensive player, but his movement in front is not bad either,” he said. “There are more variables in doubles. Since both players have military service issues at stake, I think they will focus more. “I will do it,” he predicted.

Coach Lee predicted that participating in the Davis Cup would help Kwon Soon-woo improve his performance.

Korea was included in Group C along with Spain, Serbia, and the Czech Republic in the group stage of the Davis Cup finals.

The group stage consists of 2 singles and 1 doubles, with the players with the highest world rankings competing in the 2 singles.

The list of players participating in Spain and Serbia includes world number one Carlos Alcaras and number two Novak Djokovic. Kwon Soon-woo is expected to face these two.

Coach Lee explained, “Rather than winning against a weak player, you need to regain your movement when playing against a strong player. Playing against a top-ranked player in the Davis Cup will be very helpful.”

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