Medal hopeful (30) Kwon Soon-woo
Kwon Soon-woo (25, Dangjin City Hall), who is attempting to win a gold medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, is the star of Korean tennis in name and reality.
He is ranked 112th in the Men’s Professional Tennis (ATP) Tour singles ranking, the highest among Korean players.
Even though he was away from the court for a while due to a shoulder injury until his return after 6 months at the US Open, which ended this month, he is still the highest ranked player in the country.
Even in his highest personal ranking, he rose to 52nd place, the highest among active players, excluding Jeong Hyun, whose skills have declined significantly due to injury.
Not many people expected Kwon Soon-woo to become Korea’s best player.
Kwon Soon-woo, who is from Sangju, Gyeongsangbuk-do and picked up a tennis racket in the fourth grade of elementary school, did not receive much attention among promising players his age during his junior days.
However, Kwon Soon-woo’s true value, who steadily practiced the basics with his innate sincerity, began to slowly appear after he turned professional in 2015 at the age of 18.
Soon-Woo Kwon steadily gained experience in ATP Futures and Challenger, and passed the wild card match at the 2018 Australian Open, winning the right to participate in his first major tournament.
In May 2019, he won the Seoul Open Challenger Tournament and raised his ranking to 135th, overtaking Chung Hyeon and emerging as Korea’s ‘ace’.
Currently, Kwon Soon-woo is the only Korean player for both men and women who consistently competes in the major singles finals.
He has reached the second round of major tournaments five times, and reached the third round at the 2021 French Open.
He also won two ATP Tour level events. He lifted the trophy at the 2021 Astana Open in Kazakhstan and the second tournament in Adelaide, Australia earlier this year.
This Asian Games is a very important competition for Kwon Soon-woo.
If he wins the gold medal, he will be able to continue his career as a professional by playing consistently on the ATP Tour without worrying about future military service. If he fails to win the gold medal, he will have to worry about joining the Sangmu military service like other athletes his age.
Kwon Soon-woo was eliminated in the quarterfinals of singles and the round of 16 of doubles at the 2018 Jakarta and Palembang tournament, his first appearance at the Asian Games.
This time too, Kwon Soon-woo will participate in both doubles.
He plans to do his best to win gold in both events, but doubles seems to have a better chance when it comes to odds.
This is because Chinese players who have recently performed well on the professional stage are emerging as strong candidates for the championship.
Zhang Zizhen (60th) and Wu Yibing (98th), who are competing in the singles at this tournament, are both ranked higher than Kwon Soon-woo.
Zhang Zhi is in good spirits, reaching the third round at this year’s US Open, and Wu Yibing’s hometown is Hangzhou.
Of course, Chinese players will also be strong in doubles, but it is true that doubles, which has relatively many variables, seems to be a little easier for Kwon Soon-woo to challenge for the gold medal.토토사이트
Soon-Woo Kwon forms a doubles team with Seong-Chan Hong (Sejong City Hall), a player of the same age born in 1997, who has been his ‘best friend’ since his junior days.
Orion Tennis Team coach Lee Hyeong-taek, who will serve as a commentator for the TV Chosun Asian Games, said, “Kwon Soon-woo and Hong Seong-chan are very close, so I expect good chemistry. Hong Seong-chan in particular is good at defense, but his offensive play is also not bad,” and added, “Because both of them have military issues at stake. “I think we will approach the competition with concentration,” he said.