Hyeon Chung fired 11 aces and won 90 per cent of his first-serve points to overcome Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-4 3-6 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals of the ATP Rakuten Open in Tokyo.
The 23-year-old Chung denied Cilic his 500th tour-level win in the process, advancing to his first ATP quarterfinal of the season.
The former world No.19, now ranked 143rd, continues his comeback from a back injury which kept him off tour for most of the first half of 2019.
“I’m just really happy because this is one of the best wins in my career so far. It was a really tough match against one of the best players in the world,” Chung told atptour.com.
“I’m just trying to enjoy every point.”
The South Korean will next take on Belgium’s David Goffin, who edged past Denis Shapovalov 7-6(5) 7-6(2) to reach the quarterfinals.
Both players failed to convert a break point, with Goffin withstanding 10 aces from his Canadian opponent in a tense encounter which lasted nearly two hours.
But Goffin won six of the first seven points in the first-set tiebreak and the first six points of the second-set tiebreak to gain unassailable leads against Shapovalov.
Third seed Goffin, the 2017 Tokyo champion, has reached his seventh Tour-level quarterfinal of the season.
“He was serving really well and I knew it’d be long sets with some tiebreaks,” Goffin said of Shapovalov.
“I tried to break him during the whole match… I didn’t, but I served really well. I’m really happy about my performance because it was a good fight.”
In other results, qualifier John Millman overcame Lloyd Harris of South Africa to extend his winning streak in Tokyo to four matches.
The 6-3 6-2 win sends the Australian into his fourth ATP quarterfinal of the season, where he will face local hope Taro Daniel.
Daniel accounted for Millman’s countryman Jordan Thompson in straight sets.
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