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Chung Impressive In Milan Opener

The innovative format of the Next Gen ATP Finals played a key role in the second match of the inaugural tournament, bringing plenty of excitement in the key moments.

And in those moments, it was Hyeon Chung who found an edge, and eventually defeated the youngest player in the field, 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov of Canada, 1-4, 4-3(5), 4-3(4), 4-1, in one hour, 36 minutes.

Hyeon Chung came back from a set down to beat Denis Shapovalov at the Next Gen ATP Finals.
The South Korean looked to be in total control of the match in the fourth set as he served for the match at 3-1. However, the Canadian phenom dug into the game, reaching 15-15. Chung hit a serve off the net — there are no lets in Milan — that popped up right in front of the net, sending the left-hander scrambling to make the return, which he did brilliantly. But his older right-handed opponent did not give him a clean look at a volley, and that was the last good opportunity Shapovalov would have in the match.

At the start, it looked promising for Shapovalov, who reached the semi-finals in Coupe Rogers. He played aggressive tennis from the get-go, dominating with his forehand to take the early lead, breaking in Chung’s first service game of the tournament.

But the South Korean made a tactical adjustment, stepping a little bit closer to the baseline to be more offensive, so as not to allow the Canadian to dominate the court. From there on out, Chung was the more consistent player in the big moments, especially in the second- and third-set tie-breaks.

While Shapovalov showed why he qualified for Milan with impressive shotmaking, Chung maintained the same level throughout the match, taking advantage of his opponent’s lapses, not facing a set point in either tie-break.

It was interesting to watch the players use tablets they were provided during changeovers to check their statistics mid-match, and make adjustments accordingly. Both players also put on their headsets at least once during the match after a set to confer with their coaches.

The microphones allowed fans following the broadcast of the match to hear the coaching advice and see how each team handled any adjustments. Chung’s coach was encouraging, and gave more general advice about not allowing Shapovalov to control play, while the Canadian’s coach, Martin Laurendeau, discussed technical aspects of his charge’s return as well as strategic adjustments to his service location.

The match sends Chung to the top of the Group A standings with a 1-0 record, while Shapovalov is 0-1.

Source: https://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/chung-shapovalov-milan-2017-tuesday

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