Kwon Soon-woo reaches Round of 16 at Singapore Open

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Kwon Soon-woo reaches Round of 16 at Singapore Open

Kwon Soon-woo plays a backhand in his men's singles first round match against Thai-Son Kwiatkowski of the United States at the Singapore Tennis Open on Wednesday in Singapore. [GETTY IMAGES]

Kwon Soon-woo plays a backhand in his men's singles first round match against Thai-Son Kwiatkowski of the United States at the Singapore Tennis Open on Wednesday in Singapore. [GETTY IMAGES]

 
Korean tennis player Kwon Soon-woo earned a spot in the Round of 16 at the Singapore Tennis Open in Singapore on Wednesday.
 
World No. 81 Kwon beat Thai-Son Kwiatkowski of the United States in the Round of 32, beating the world No. 219 in three sets: 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
 
Kwon, who participated in the tournament just days after winning the ATP Challenger Biella Indoor 2 last week, will now face world No. 109 Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan in the Round of 16, scheduled for 8:20 p.m. tonight.
 
Kwon entered the Singapore Open as the eighth-seeded player in a competitive field that includes world No. 36 Adrian Mannarino and No. 39 John Millman of Australia. Marin Cilic, winner of the 2014 U.S. Open, is also competing. If Kwon beats Uchiyama, he will have to face Cilic, now world No. 44, in the quarterfinal.
 
Kwon started 2021 as the world No. 97, picking up just one win at the Great Ocean Road Open on Feb. 1 before losing in the first round of the Australian Open. 
 
His performance quickly turned around at the Biella Indoor 2. Kwon smashed through the tournament, losing only one set in the entire tournament — to Evgeny Donskoy of Russia in the semifinal. That tournament win saw him rise 16 places in the world ranking.
 
Kwon was having the best year of his career last year before the coronavirus pandemic interrupted the tennis season. He advanced to the second round at the U.S. Open, his best grand slam performance to date. As a result, Kwon also briefly shot up to No. 69 in the ATP World Ranking.
 
BY JIM BULLEY   [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]
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