Chung Hyeon advances in the Australian Open

Takashi Mori, Jan. 16, 2019, 9:54 a.m.

Tennis star Chung Hyeon, ranked 25th in the world, rallied from two sets down to defeat world No. 78 Bradley Klahn at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Klahn, whose highest career ranking is 63rd, has never made it past the second round of a tournament. He took the first two sets in tiebreakers, but Chung found his serve in the third, taking three straight games to claim the set 6-3. He won the fourth 6-2 and the fifth 6-4 to outlast Klahn over 3 hours and 37 minutes and win the match. 

"This was the first time I have come back from two sets down. Though down two sets to none, I started to feel more comfortable and my body felt lighter," Chung said. "In the third set, I didn't accept that the match was over, and kept wracking my brain on how to win."

The win at the Australian Open -- the same tournament in which he shocked the field by advancing to the semifinals last year -- was the first of 2019 for the 23-year-old, who has gotten off to a rough start this year.

On Jan. 2, he won his first-round match at the ATP 250 Tata Maharastra Open in India by default, only to lose his next match to world No. 86 Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in straight sets, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2. Six days later he was upset by world No. 334 Ruben Statham of New Zealand at the Auckland Open, again in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.

On Thursday, Chung faces world No. 55 Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France in the second round. They have played each other twice before, with one win each. 

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