Chung claims Next Gen ATP Finals title
(TSX / STATS) -- South Korea's Hyeon Chung beat top seed Andrey Rublev of Russia 3-4 (5), 4-3 (2), 4-2, 4-2 in the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals championship on Saturday in Milan, Italy.
The 21-year-old Chung, seeded sixth, became the first South Korean to win an ATP World Tour singles trophy since Hyung-Taik Lee won the 2003 Sydney title.
"I'm just really, really happy, because, I don't know, I really don't know how I won here in Milan," Chung said. "(It was a) really tough match tonight against Rublev. He was better than the last time (we played). So I was just trying to play my best."
In the first set, Chung saved all five break points but Rublev edged him out with a service winner in the tie-break.
However, Chung looked to be the looser player in the second set. Rublev only converted 27 percent of his first serves and hit 15 unforced errors.
Chung stood his ground against Rublev and his strong forehands in the third set, further frustrating the Russian. The South Korean continued to play on the defensive behind the baseline in the final set. The strategy worked as he was able to continue tracking down and returning Rublev's shots.
"I was playing much better than him," Rublev said. "I was dictating the match, and then just because I let my emotion go out and everything changed, because Chung, he was always there. He was always focused. He was always in the match. No matter if something went wrong, he was still fighting."
Chung was unable to put away Rublev at triple championship point as the set went to deuce, 3-2. However, Chung ended it with a forehand winner set up by his first serve.
Updated November 12, 2017