Sat, Feb 15, 2020 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan’s Jung pulls off NY upset

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AP, UNIONDALE, New York

Jason Jung on Thursday pulled off yet another upset at the New York Open, ousting seventh seed Cameron Norrie to set up a quarter-final against defending champion Reilly Opelka at Nassau Coliseum.

Jung — born in Torrance, California, but who represents Taiwan — defeated the 59th-ranked Briton 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour, 17 minutes to reach the quarter-finals on Long Island for the second consecutive year.

The world No. 131 converted three of six break points and won 79 percent of points on his first serve to see off South Africa-born Norrie.

Jung, who is nicknamed “The Chisel” due to his ability to “file down to size” bigger-hitting opponents, felt that his fitness was letting him down at the end of last season and has worked to improve it since December last year.

“I felt like my legs let me down a few times in big matches last year — that could have had a greater impact on my year-end ranking,” Jung told the ATP Web site. “I could still run and fight, but though the head was willing, the body often was not. Sometimes, I could feel my legs getting heavy and it probably affected my shot selection, and not for the better.”

While improved leg strength has definitely helped, Jung said that an improved state of mind has also improved his game, which he realized last month after a straight-sets defeat in an ATP Challenger Tour match in Newport Beach, California.

“This was the first time that I lost a set 7-6 or 7-5 and had peace afterward,” Jung told the ATP Web site. “I was disappointed to not get the result that I wanted, but I gave my best and did all that I could to win the match. I know that I could not have prepared better during the off-season. I realized that every time I lose a close set or match, it does not have to be my fault. Sometimes my opponent just played some great shots. I know that I did everything in my control to put myself in a winning position. I know it sounds strange, but finally I can live with that.”

Opelka — the highest-seeded player left in the tournament — earned his first win of the season by beating Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 6-4.

He had lost both previous matches this season, most recently blowing a two-set lead against Fabio Fognini at the Australian Open, and was on a five-match losing streak dating back to October last year.

Top seed John Isner was also upset in the second round, losing 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (3/7), 6-3 to Jordan Thompson.

Isner was playing his first match since having to retire from the third round at the Australian Open because of a foot injury.

The hard-serving American was broken early in the third set and unable to do much from there against Thompson, an Australian whom Isner had defeated in all three previous meetings.

That included in last year’s quarter-finals, the only time in three appearances on Long Island that Isner had won a match.

Eighth seed Kyle Edmund also reached the quarter-finals by sweeping past Dominik Koepfer 6-2, 6-4. He was next due to faces Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea.

In the other quarter-finals, fourth seed Ugo Humbert was to take on sixth seed Miomir Kecmanovic and Thompson was due to face Andreas Seppi.

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