Korean keeps his cool in new-rules trial
Milan — South Korea’s Hyeon Chung upset top-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev to claim his first title at the Next Gen ATP finals in Milan on Saturday played under experimental rule changes.
The bespectacled 21-year-old rallied from a set down to see off Rublev, the world No37 who reached the US Open quarterfinals in 2017, 3-4 (5/7) 4-3 (7/2) 4-2 4-2 in just under two hours.
Chung, ranked 54, sealed victory on his third match point after Rublev had saved two at 3-1 down in the fourth set of the final at the season-ending, eight-player tournament.
"After losing the first set, and down one break in the second, I was really nervous, really angry, but I tried to have a poker face," said Chung.
"I’m trying to create an image of being really strong mentally and I am starting to play better and better," he said.
The former student of the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida — who turned to a mental coach to help him deal with the pressure of tennis — received $390,000, but no world ranking points, for winning the under-21 tournament.
Chung said his mind training had helped him in Milan, just days after a first-round exit in Paris to Rafael Nadal.
It was Chung’s third victory over Rublev. He beat the Russian earlier in the week and also at Winston-Salem on the ATP Tour in August.