Korean tennis hopefuls Jung Yeon-soo (Orion, world’s Jr. 65th) and Jang Autumn (CJ CheilJedang, world’s Jr. 27th) both recorded their first victory in the Australian Open Junior, their Grand Slam debut.
In the first round of the men’s singles junior round at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Jan. 21 (local time), Jeong Yeon-soo defeated Tom Sickenberger (Germany, world’s 80th) 2-0 (7-6(4) 6-0) in an hour and 25 minutes.
The two players, who passed the preliminary round and advanced to the finals, fought on their hands from the first set and broke each other’s service game one by one, leading the game to a tiebreaker. In the beginning of the tiebreaker, Jung Yeon-soo broke a series of forehand stroke winners to run 5-2 and took the lead by scoring due to the opponent’s stroke mistake at 6-4.
Jeong Yeon-soo’s perfect performance stood out in the second set. Jeong, who pressed the opponent by banking on his sharp stroke, displayed concentration by breaking the opponent’s service game after deuce five times at the game score 3-0, and secured two more games in a row to finish the game with bagel score.
“I had a tough game from the preliminary round, and I’m glad that I won the Grand Slam for the first time. I thank my parents, coaches and everyone who supported me,” Jeong said. “I gave up the service game in the first set, but I tried to keep calm and reduce mistakes. In the second set, I focused on taking the lead from the first game.”
Jeong Yeon-soo, who has been on tour with Orion since last year, added, “I am learning a lot from coach Lee Hyung-taek and coach Kim Sun-yong. It is not easy to participate in many competitions and practice and rest at the same time while traveling abroad, but if you win a big competition like the Australian Open like today, you will get rewards for your hard work.”
Jung Yeon-soo is relatively short at 172cm, but he understands the opponent’s psychology, uses his fast feet to cover the court, and has excellent concentration on the ball. Jung Yeon-soo also showed his strengths in the game. He didn’t get nervous at all in the pressure, ran one more step, blocked the opponent’s attack, and dominated the game with amazing concentration in situations where points were needed.마카오토토주소
Jang Autumn (left) and coach Oh Sung-kook. Melbourne | Park Jun-yong
Jeong’s next opponent is sixth seed Alexander Ragee (ranked 10th in the world). Ragee ranks higher in the world than Jeong and made it to the semifinals at last year’s U.S. Open doubles. However, he is a good match for Jeong, who has been on the rise since 2021, with only one win in the Grand Slam singles that he played five times.
“The next opponent is the seeded player, but I hope it will be an opportunity to learn and grow regardless of the outcome. My personal goal for this year’s event is to advance to the quarterfinals,” Jeong said.
In the first round of the women’s singles junior round, Jang Ga-eul defeated Riko Kikawa (ranked 1,499th in the world Jr.) 2-0 (6-4 7-6 (3)). Jang Ga-eul also won in her debut match at the Grand Slam.
“I was very nervous, but I’m glad that I won. As expected, there are many spectators at the Grand Slam, and the atmosphere is very different from other competitions,” Jang said. “I was nervous today, so I didn’t perform as well as I practiced. Still, I was able to concentrate until the end and win when I was losing in the second set.”
Jang Autumn, who is currently being coached by coach Oh Sung-guk at the Oh Sung-guk Tennis Academy, said, “I am receiving a lot of help both inside and outside tennis, such as my teacher saying a lot of positive things,” adding, “I will work hard in the rest of the games.”
Jang Autumn will compete with Aspen Schumann (ranked 1070th in the world) who passed the preliminary round against No. 3 seed.
Meanwhile, Noh Ho-young (Osan TA, ranked 33rd in the world) lost to No. 13 seed homecourt Pavl Marine Corp. (Australia, ranked 20th in the world) 0-2 (3-62-6), and Hwang Dong-hyun (Choi Ju-yeon TA) lost to Benjamin Gu Dong-wan (ranked 51st in the UK, ranked 51-7th in the world).