SEOUL, October 23, 2015
Goran Ivanisevic believes that 19-year-old Korean Hyeon Chung can be a Top Ten player in the future.
Posing for photos at the Gala Dinner for the Kia Motors Champions Cup in Seoul, Chung looked a little in awe of Ivanisevic, Marat Safin, Michael Chang and Fernando Gonzalez, but they were quick to put a reassuring arm around his shoulder.
“Chung is one of the most promising upcoming players, along with Borna Coric, Alexander Zverev and Thanasi Kokkinakis – they’re the future of tennis,” said Ivanisevic. “He hits the ball extremely well, but he needs to work on his serve. He’s going to be one of the leading players in the world. He can be Top Ten.”
As for the young man himself, he is taking things in his stride. Having started the year ranked No.173, he is now up to No.52.
“I just want to keep playing tennis, keep pushing myself to see how far I can go,” said Chung. “Kei Nishikori is an inspiration for me. I hope that he will be surrounded and overtaken by some Korean players in the future – I’m very excited about the future of Korean tennis.”
Matches in the inaugural Kia Motors Champions Cup in Seoul start on Saturday at Noon with Safin against Chang, followed by Ivanisevic vs. Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was a late replacement for Andy Roddick, who was forced to withdraw with an ankle injury.
‘I’m sorry I can’t be there in Seoul, but unfortunately I injured my ankle last week while training for the event,” said Roddick, in a video message played for the assembled media and sponsors in Seoul. “I hope I can come to the event in the future.”
After Seoul, the ATP Champions Tour will move on to Monterrey (Mexico), and then Verona and Modena (Italy), before arriving in London (England) in December.