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Lee Hyung-taik to Compete against Murray for Round of 16

Lee Hyung-taik to Compete against Murray for Round of 16

Posted September. 01, 2007 08:04,   


Seven years ago, during the U.S. Open, Lee Hyung-taik was thrilled to be playing in a major tennis competition for the first time. When he played Pete Sampras from the U.S. in the round of 16, the foreign press called it a miracle by a provincial boy from Gangwon Province.

However, he is on his way to make new history with confidence that he can defeat anyone. Major foreign press outlets are calling him the ‘hope of Asia.’

Korea’s ace tennis player Lee Hyung-taik (31, sponsored by Samsung Securities) is the man of the hour.

He is ranked 43rd in the world, the highest position for an Asian tennis player. He won a complete victory over Guillermo Canas of Argentina, ranked 14th, in the 2nd round of the U.S. Open held in New York on August 31. He won by 3 to 0 (7-5, 7-5, 6-3) without losing even one set in two hours and 23 minutes.

He advanced for the second time in a row to the round of 32 in a major competition following Wimbledon.

In service aces, he lagged way behind Canas, who defeated Roger Federer from Switzerland, the emperor of tennis, two times this season. However, his drastic net targeting and skilled services targeted at the backhand of his opponent led him to an unexpected victory.

During a phone interview with the Dong-A Ilbo, Lee expressed his happiness, saying, “I thought the game went on for a long time, but I won the first set by getting ahead of him 4 to 0 at one point. And whenever he began to show his pace, I stopped it effectively.”

Lee Hyung-taik will match Andy Murray (20), a rising star of England ranked 19th, on September 2 for the ticket to the round of 16.

Murray defeated Jonas Bjorkman, age 35 from Sweden, the oldest player in the competition, in three hours and 37 minutes by a score of 3 to 2 and joined the third round.

Lee lost to Murray, who is 190cm tall, in the SAP Open quarterfinals in February this year, 1 set to 2 (6-4, 3-6, 6-7 ) after a close full set game. Murray has won the SAP Open twice in a row.

Lee made a dramatic victory in the 1st round even with muscular pain in his thigh, and he showed that he is ready, saying, “Murray is young and experienced, but his service game and stroke ability is not that strong. My condition is better and I am on the rise, so I believe that I have a good chance.”

Murray is suffering from a wrist injury this year, so Lee has a good chance to enter the round of 16 for the second time after 2000 in a major competition.