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Lee Hyung-taik and Kevin Kim: A Doubles Sensation

Posted May. 28, 2005 03:24,   


Lee Hyung-taik (29, Samsung Securities) was a sensation in upsetting the world’s top tennis double’s team.

The first round of the men’s doubles in the French Open took place on May 27 at Roland Garros in Paris, France.

Lee Hyung-taik and Korean-American Kevin Kim (27) paired up and took a full-set victory over doubles specialists Todd Woodbridge (Australia) and Mahesh Bhupathi (India) by 2-1 (7-6, 4-6, 7-5). Lee Hyung-taik, who already qualified to the third round in the singles category the previous day, will advance to the next doubles round as well.

Woodbridge and Bhupathi were strong candidates for the cup. Woodbridge is a “career grand slammer” who has won doubles titles in all four major championships. He has won 16 times in the major championships, including nine in Wimbledon alone. Bhupathi has won four major doubles championships including those at the French Open in 1999 and 2001.

In terms of doubles rankings, Lee Hyung-taik is 165th and Kevin Kim is 186th, while Woodbridge is eighth and Bhupathi is 12th. The match-up seemed obvious, in terms of experience and ranking, but the Lee-Kim team caught a “big fish” with bold court strategies and ambitions. The Lee-Kim team will face the doubles pair of Karol Beck (Slovakia) and Jaroslav Levinsky (Czech Republic) on May 28 for the third round ticket.

Meanwhile, in the second round of the men’s singles, second-seeded “power server” Andy Roddick (U.S.) lost 2-3 (6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-8) to 62nd ranked Jose Acasuso (Argentina). By losing this game, Roddick failed to escape his “French Open jinx,” having now lost twice in the first and second rounds of this tournament and having proceeded to the third round only once during the five times he has played in this open. Not a single American advanced to the third round of the men’s singles competition.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com