Versatile Kwon a master of adapting

23.09.2021    Views: 324
Source: KTF press-service

Courtney Walsh

During a promising season, Astana Open quarterfinalist Soon-woo Kwon has played with a versatility that has enabled him to claim good wins on every surface. The South Korean, who defeated Dusan Lajovic 7-5 6-4 in 1hr 37min in the ATP 250 in Nur-Sultan on Thursday, produced his best effort in a major when reaching the third round at Roland Garros this year.

Later that month the 23-year-old made the semifinals on the ATP Tour for the first time when, after qualifying, he played with flair on the grass courts of Eastbourne. But his adaptability is best demonstrated by a swift and successful transition from grass courts to indoor hard courts, after travelling from one continent to another, this week.

Kwon played a starring role in South Korea’s 3-1 win over New Zealand in a Davis Cup tie played on grass at the International Tennis Hall of Fame club in Newport, Rhode Island, last weekend.

The right-hander arrived in Nur-Sultan earlier this week and has adjusted to the slow-paced indoor hardcourts extremely well when claiming straight set wins over Evgeny Donskoy and Lajovic.

He described the transition as «difficult» but the form the No. 82 on the FedEx ATP Rankings has shown this week suggests he has coped with the situation well.

The South Korean was on the defensive early as Lajovic jumped to a 5-2 lead in the opening set, but he was able to rally with a pleasing balance of offensive and defensive tennis.

Kwon produced one of the best shots of the match when angling a superb backhand passing shot across the front of his rival at the net to save a second set point when trailing at 4-5. Demonstrating superb all-court skills, Kwon was able to break the Serbian again in the midst of a winning streak of five straight games to clinch the opening set.

«It was a tough match. I was a break down … and was disappointed, but I tried to stay positive and tried to stay more aggressive,» Kwon said.

The 23-year-old clinched the only service break of the second set at 1-all with another display of brilliance, angling an acute backhand volley from midcourt past Lajovic, who was stranded at the net. He was able to retain the advantage throughout the second set to reach his fourth ATP Tour quarterfinal for the season and now plays Laslo Djere on Friday.

«We sometimes practice, so I will do my best again tomorrow,» Kwon said.

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