S. Korean Kwon Soon-woo loses marathon match at Australian Open

South Korean Kwon Soon-woo was knocked out of the Australian Open in the second round Wednesday after dropping a five-set marathon.

Denis Shapovalov of Canada outlasted Kwon 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (3-7), 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-2 in the four hour, 25-minute match at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne.
Kwon, world No. 54, put up a valiant fight against the 14th-ranked Shapovalov before running out of steam.

Shapovalov had 29 aces to just three by Kwon. The Canadian also put up 81 winners, compared to 29 by the South Korean.

Kwon earned his first career win at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of each year, on Monday. He has now made it to at least the second round at all four majors.

Kwon reached the second round at the 2020 U.S. Open, where he also lost to Shapovalov. Kwon played in the second round at the 2021 Wimbledon and the third round at the 2021 French Open.

In his second career meeting against Shapovalov Wednesday, Kwon dropped the opening set in a tiebreak but returned the favor in the next two sets.

In the second set tiebreak, Kwon jumped out to a 6-1 lead on a combination of forehand winners and Shapovalov’s backhand unforced errors. The third set tiebreak was much tighter. Kwon found himself down 5-2 and later 6-4, one point away from dropping the set and going down 2-1 for the match. But Shapovalov helped Kwon with three consecutive unforced errors and committed a double fault to hand the set to the South Korean.

The players were knotted at 5-5 in the fourth set, before Shapovalov held serve and then broke Kwon to take the set and even the match.

And it was all Shapovalov in the deciding fifth set. He broke Kwon in the second game of the set and opened up a 3-0 lead. Then with Kwon serving at 5-2, Shapovalov rallied from a 30-0 deficit to break Kwon one last time and sealed the victory.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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