Seoul Challenger: Hyeon Chung plays his first match since 2020 and loses

Hyeon Chung lost to Jordan Thompson in his comeback match in Seoul

by Jovica Ilic
Seoul Challenger: Hyeon Chung plays his first match since 2020 and loses

Former world no. 19 and the Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung is back in action for the first time since September 2020! The Korean has been struggling with injuries for years, undergoing another back surgery at the beginning of 2021 and needing over two years to recover and compete.

Hyeon entered the home Seoul Challenger and suffered a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Jordan Thompson in an hour and 34 minutes. Chung served at 57% and hit six double faults, which is understandable after such a long break. The Korean dropped half of the points in his games and experienced four breaks from eight chances offered to the Aussie.

Thompson landed 49% of the first serve in, which was not an obstacle for him. Jordan dominated with his first serve and dropped serve only once to control the scoreboard and make a winning start. Hyeon turned his first service game in two and a half years into a disaster and got broken at love after a loose backhand.

Hyeon Chung lost to Jordan Thompson in his first match since Roland Garros 2020.

Jordan cemented the lead with a service winner in game two, taking all eight points and settling into a fine rhythm. The Korean missed another backhand in the third game and experienced a break point.

He saved it with a forced error and faced another when his forehand found the net. Chung missed a forehand to find himself 3-0 down, struggling to impose his strokes in windy conditions. Jordan held at 15 for 4-0 before the home player produced a hold at 15 in the next one to get his name on the scoreboard.

Thompson claimed an extended rally in the sixth game and opened a 5-1 lead, forcing the rival to serve to stay in the set. Hyeon saved a set point with a service winner and reduced the deficit to 5-2. The Aussie served for the set in game eight and landed an ace for 6-2.

Chung held at the start of the second set and created a break chance in the next one and seized it after a long rally to grab a break and move 2-0 in front. Thompson broke back in game three after the home star's loose forehand and saved a break point in the next one to lock the result at 2-2 after a couple of deuces.

Hyeon saved a break point in game five with an unreturned serve and stayed on the positive side. However, he netted a routine forehand in the seventh game to experience a break at love and fall 4-3 behind. Jordan moved 5-3 in front with a fine hold in game eight and served for the victory at 5-4. The Aussie held at love after the rival's error to seal the deal and advance into the second round.

Hyeon Chung Jordan Thompson