Hyeon Chung's challenging year continues as he pulls out of Indian Wells

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Hyeon Chung's challenging year continues as he pulls out of Indian Wells

Rising South-Korean star Hyeon Chung has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open. The 22-year-old has played at the Indian Wells Masters twice so far in his career. Chung, ranked at No. 63 in the world, debuted on the hard courts of Indian Wells in 2016 when he lost in the first round to Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The South-Korean achieved a better result at the tournament last year as he made the quarter-final before losing to Swiss Roger Federer. Chung has now picked up his third consecutive tournament withdrawal. The 22-year-old hasn't played since losing in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament first round in Rotterdam to Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Since then, the South-Korean has also withdrawn from the Open 13 Provence in Marseille and Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco respectively. It has been a disappointing start to the season for 2018 Australian Open semi-finalist Chung.

The former world No. 19 has won only one match so far in 2019 and lost four. The South-Korean's lone win of 2019 came at Melbourne Park, when he beat Bradley Klahn in the first round. It remains to be seen will Chung recover in time for the Miami Open, which starts on March 20.

Meanwhile, a place in the Indian Wells main draw has opened for Ilya Ivashka following the withdrawal of Chung. Ivashka, ranked at No. 96 in the world, is set to make his debut in the desert as he has no previous appearances at the tournament.