Not too long ago, the name of Hyeon Chung He had practically unlimited potential behind him. Many will not remember it, but this Korean tennis player was the first winner of the Next Gen ATP Finalsthe first of a list with names like those of Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov. His semi-finals at Open the Australia 2018 they also made it clear that we were looking at the future of Asian tennis, someone who was aiming for the top but was stopped in his tracks by a spiral of physical problems and injuries. The last one was a back that has made him go through a real ordeal, forcing him to be absent from the competition for more than two years. With a pandemic in between, now the Korean will feel like a tennis player again, and there is no better place to do it than at home, in the ATP Seúl 2022.
He will appear there, but in the form of double. Soonwoo Kwon He will be her partner, circuit partner and friend, the man who will give Hyeon the opportunity to test her level without the physical effort involved in playing singles. Beyond the result, Chung’s sole purpose is to feel like a tennis player again. Every forehand, every serve and every court ritual will be a privilege for a guy who spent months without picking up a racket, something he appreciates and which he spoke about in statements collected by Yonhap News Agency. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. The truth is, I don’t know how I’m going to play, but I’ll do my best”.
The return process for his part has been very complicated, with two equally demanding challenges: that of putting the body back in motion and enduring long efforts on the track (physical) and a previous one, that of dealing with a prolonged absence and with the uncertainty of the future (mental). The Asian player spoke of both: “I haven’t played any competitive matches yet, so it’s hard to say how I’ll be physically and it’s early to compare myself to 2018. Mind you, I think mentally I’m in a much better position than I was back then. Before did not value tennis, but now I’m thankful for the simple act of getting back on track. I have been training very hard for the last two months, but I had such a good time that I wanted to eat and sleep on the track itself“confesses a very animated Hyeon, even eager to return to the competition as soon as possible.
COMING BACK HOME, THE BEST OPTION
There was no better place to recover the sensations than the home tournament, precisely the year in which tennis returns to the Korean capital. Chung is also scheduled to play several Challengers in Asia during the month of October, but he is not in a hurry to set goals yet. “I wanted to come back in the tournament in Korea because it is played at home and I felt that I could approach it in a relaxed way, both mentally and physically. I still need to work on my fitness. This is just part of my way back to my best days. I didn’t want to push my limits this week. I’m usually a quiet person, and I feel that rehab can be something that falls within the territory of a professional athlete. I just hoped I could get out of it being a stronger person“.