On the opening day of the ITF Asian Junior tennis championships at the DLTA Complex, Yun Seong Chung lost one of his racquets. Understandably aggrieved, the 16-year-old even sought this reporter’s help to find the equipment. Unfortunately, the search proved futile.
On Saturday, though, the loss of a racquet could hardly temper the third seed’s joy. Chung demonstrated remarkable temperament to edge past top seed and defending champion Lee Duck Hee 7-6(1), 7-6(3).
Although the latter was hampered by a thigh strain in the second set, he fought admirably to ensure that the contest remained worthy of a final. Essentially, Lee lost this match due to poor performance in tiebreaks. Yet, there were other opportunities for him to claim a significant advantage.
Lee began stronger of the two as he gained from his opponent’s passiveness. He won the first three games and Chung was moved around the court at will. The momentum, though, shifted towards the latter in the seventh game when the former committed three double faults to return the break of serve.
From 1-4 down, Chung went 5-4 up. But he was broken in the next game and a game later, Lee had three set points that weren’t converted. The tiebreak, though, wasn’t nearly as tense. Lee lost the first point due to a double fault and could only win one thereafter. By then, Chung had discovered stability and was willing to attack too.
An early break in the second set suggested that Lee had overcome the difficult phase but a doctor was required when he was 4-3 up. The discomfort in his left leg had markedly grown and consequently, he was broken in the next game.
Although Lee responded by breaking to love, serving was noticeably tougher for him. The service break was returned again and another tiebreak ensued.
With Chung’s defensive capabilities at their most effective, he forced Lee to play longer points. Moreover, the force with which Chung hit the ball unsettled the latter. The balls experienced pain too as twice, a ball went bust during the tiebreak. Eventually, a long forehand by Lee gave Chung the title.Buayam triumphs
In the girls’ final, top seed Kamonwan Buayam of Thailand bested her compatriot Tamachan Momkoonthod 7-6(2), 6-3.
In their first meeting at this level, the two produced a closely-fought contest.
The beginning of this match, though, had suggested that Buayam would find it much easier. She raced to a 4-0 lead, albeit she held serve after trailing 15-40 in the fourth game.
However, it was Momkoonthod who won the next four games. As both players continued to exchange service breaks, the set required a tiebreak for its resolution. The tiebreak, though, proved to be a damp squib.
Momkoonthod did rally to lead 3-1 in the second set but faded away thereafter.
Buayam and Chung gained 180 points for their success in the singles competition.
The results (finals): Boys: Yun Seong Chung (KOR) bt Lee Duck Hee (KOR) 7-6(1), 7-6 (3).
Girls: Kamonwan Buayam (THA) bt Tamachan Momkoonthod (THA) 7-6(2), 6-3.
Keywords: ITF Asian Junior tennis championships