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(LEAD) S. Korean Chung Hyeon eliminated in 2nd round at Australian Open tennis

All News 16:16 January 19, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS comments at bottom)

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean tennis player Chung Hyeon bowed out of the second round at the Australian Open on Thursday.

Chung, world No. 105, took the first set before dropping the next three against the 15th-ranked Grigor Dimitrov, who prevailed 3-1 (1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4) at Hisense Arena in Melbourne.

Chung was making his second career appearance in the second round of a Grand Slam tournament, after the 2015 U.S. Open. The 20-year-old is the highest-ranked Korean tennis player.

Chung had a solid start against the former world No. 8 from Bulgaria. The Korean dropped the first game but then claimed the next six games in a row to take the first set in a hurry.

In this Associated Press photo, South Korea's Chung Hyeon hits a shot against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria during their second-round match at the Australian Open at Hisense Arena in Melbourne on Jan. 19, 2017. (Yonhap)

Dimitrov wouldn't go away so easily and earned a hard-fought 6-4 win in the second set to even the match.

Chung won the first two games of the third set, but Dimitrov soon made it 3-3. He then broke Chung en route to taking the set 6-4.

Tied at 2-2 in the fourth set, Dimitrov again broke Chung and held his serve to build a 4-2 lead.

Chung fought back to draw even at 4-4. Then serving with a 30-0 lead, Chung committed a series of forehand miscues to let Dimitrov take a 5-4 advantage.

Serving for the match at 30-30, Dimitrov got the final two points to move to the third round.

Chung said afterward he "learned a great deal" from the loss.

"I gave myself a chance after the first set, but couldn't keep up the momentum early in the second set," he said. "It was disappointing overall, but I have no regrets."

Dimitrov gave his young opponent credit for giving him everything he could handle.

"That first set, he definitely played lights-out," Dimitrov said. "I had to be respectful of that, and I was. But as soon as the second set started, I felt confident. And that's nice to feel."


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