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S. Korean Kwon Soon-woo earns 1st career win at Australian Open

All News 13:34 January 17, 2022

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean tennis player Kwon Soon-woo finally has a win at the Australian Open after five tries.

Kwon defeated Holger Rune of Denmark in five sets, 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the opening round of the first Grand Slam tournament of the year in Melbourne on Monday.

In this Associated Press photo, Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea hits a backhand return to Holger Rune of Denmark during their first round men's singles match at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 17, 2022. (Yonhap)

In this Associated Press photo, Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea hits a backhand return to Holger Rune of Denmark during their first round men's singles match at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 17, 2022. (Yonhap)

Kwon, world No. 54, had been knocked out of the first round in 2018, 2020 and 2021, and was sent home in the qualifying stage in 2019.

Kwon, 24, has now reached at least the second round in all four majors. He went to the second round at the U.S. Open in 2020, second round at Wimbledon in 2021 and third round at the French Open in 2021.

In the next round, Kwon will face world No. 14 from Canada, Denis Shapovalov. Shapovalov beat Kwon in the second round of the U.S. Open two years ago in their only previous meeting.

In this Associated Press photo, Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea hits a backhand shot to Holger Rune of Denmark during their first round men's singles match at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 17, 2022. (Yonhap)

In this Associated Press photo, Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea hits a backhand shot to Holger Rune of Denmark during their first round men's singles match at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 17, 2022. (Yonhap)

Kwon had a shaky start at Monday's match, with Rune breaking him twice. Kwon bounced back in the second set to even the match, but Rune answered right back by taking the third set.

Rune, the 2019 French Open junior singles champion, broke Kwon to begin the fourth set, but the 18-year-old Dane was hobbled by an apparent leg injury.

Kwon dropped just four more games the rest of the way and finished off Rune in three hours and five minutes.

In this Associated Press photo, fans of South Korean tennis player Kwon Soon-woo hold up their national flag, Taegeukgi, during Kwon's first round men's singles match against Holger Rune of Denmark at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 17, 2022. (Yonhap)

In this Associated Press photo, fans of South Korean tennis player Kwon Soon-woo hold up their national flag, Taegeukgi, during Kwon's first round men's singles match against Holger Rune of Denmark at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 17, 2022. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

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