Kwon Soon-woo beats Mackenzie McDonald to reach Japan Open quarterfinals
Kwon Soon-woo is through to the quarterfinals of the Japan Open after beating Mackenzie McDonald of the United States by two sets to one on Wednesday.
Kwon will be playing his first quarterfinal since winning his first ATP title at the Astana Open in September last year.
Kwon was able to show off his form on centre court at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo on Wednesday, smashing through the first set and breaking the first game in four straight points in less than two minutes. Kwon went on to break McDonald’s last serve of the first set, quickly winning 6-3 in 36 minutes.
But McDonald came out stronger in the second set and the two players continued to exchange serves, taking six games each and reaching the seven-point tiebreaker.
Kwon wobbled on the tiebreaker. After reaching a 4-4 tie, McDonald won the last three points in a row and took the hard-fought second set after 53 minutes.
Despite narrowly missing out on a chance to win the match in straight sets, Kwon seemed undeterred. He started out the third set much like the first, breaking McDonald’s first serve. Breaking the American once again in the seventh game, Kwon won the third set 6-2.
Kwon earned his seat in the quarterfinals after a total of two hours and six minutes and without conceding a single serve.
“I had a tough match today,” Kwon said after the win on Wednesday. “We know each other quite well and that made the match more difficult, but I think I played pretty well and I am happy.
“I am in good form this year, but I wasn’t able to advance further than the second round [so far this year] even though there were many opportunities. I feel much better now that I’ve reached the quarterfinals here.”
Before defeating No. 78 McDonald on Wednesday, No. 120 Kwon had beaten No. 23 and sixth seed Alex de Minaur of Australia in the round of 32 in two straight sets on Tuesday.
Kwon will next face either Jaume Munar or Pedro Martinez in the quarterfinals, currently scheduled on Thursday.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]