Kwon Soon-woo knocked out of Adelaide International 2
Kwon Soon-woo crashed out of the men's singles competition at the Adelaide International 2 at Memorial Drive in Adelaide, Australia on Wednesday, losing 2-1 to Arthur Rinderknech of France in the round of 16.
Kwon put up a formidable fight in the first set, breaking Rinderknech's serve game to pull out of a 5-5 tie and take the set 7-5. But Kwon then conceded the next two sets, 6-3 and 6-2. Stronger serves gave Rinderknech an edge, with 18 aces as opposed to Kwon's four.
To reach the round of 16, world No. 53 Kwon beat No. 32 Lloyd Harris of South Africa 2-1 on Tuesday. Kwon has defeated Harris all three times that the two have faced off, having beat the South African in 2018 and 2019. Despite defeating the higher-ranked player in the round of 32, Kwon was unable to figure out the lower-ranked world No. 58 Rinderknech in the round of 16.
Kwon has now failed to pass the round of 16 for the second consecutive week, following the Adelaide International 1 on Jan. 6, where he dropped out at the same stage after losing in straight sets to Sweden's Michael Yme.
Kwon will next compete in the season's first grand slam event, the Australian Open starting Jan. 17.
Kwon's best-ever finish at a Grand Slam tournament came in June last year, when he advanced to the third round of the French Open. Only two Koreans, Chung Hyeon and Lee Hyung-taik, had previously reached the third round in Paris, and neither made it any further.
In July last year, Kwon represented Korea at the Tokyo Olympics where he dropped out in the first round of the men's singles match.
He won his first ATP Tour title at the Astana Open on Sep. 27 last year, beating James Duckworth of Australia in straight sets in the final to claim the title. Kwon became the first Korean to win an ATP Tour title since Lee, who won the Sydney International in 2003. Kwon and Lee are the only Koreans ever to win on the sport's top-tier tour.
The Australian Open will start on Jan. 17 and continue to Jan. 30.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]