Chung Hyeon (23, ranked 166th), South Korea’s flagship tennis player who temporarily left the court due to injury, has made a triumphant return by winning the title of them 2019 Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger Tour.
Chung beat Yuichi Sugita (Japan, ranked 197th) 2-0 in the final of the single competition at the ATP International Challenger Chengdu, which took place in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China on Sunday. He has thus won the trophy at an ATP Challenger event for the first time in two years and six months after the 2017 SportMaster Tennis Championships of Maui, which took place in Hawaii in January 2017. Chung, who has thus secured 110 ranking points, is expected rise to around 140th in world rankings, which will be announced on Monday.
A Challenger event is lower in grade than a Tour event, and attracts players who are mostly ranked 100th through 300th in world rankings. A Challenger event is not competitive enough for a player like Chung, who rose to the 19th place in the world by advancing to the semifinals at the 2018 Australian Open. However, analysts say that the event provided a nice opportunity to regain self-confidence and practice in real matches to Chung, who had failed to take part in competitions due to waist injury since the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, which took place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in February this year.
Chung will test once more his capabilities at the ATP Yokkaichi Challenger event, which will open in Japan on Monday. If he does not find any physical problems afterwards, he will participate in the ATP Vancouver Challenger, before taking part in the qualifying round for the U.S. Open, the last major event of this season that will open at the end of this month.