Looking for his first singles title this year, Kim Cheong-eui of South Korea stormed into the semifinals of the on-going $10,000 ITF Futures presented as the 6th Cham Prasidh Open after this 7-6, 6-4 upset of second seed Yannick Jankovits of France at the National Training Center yesterday.
Ranked at 444, nearly 200 places below his French rival who has multiple singles triumphs under his belt this year, the 25-year-old South Korean leaned heavily on the solidity of his ground strokes and consistent serving to get the measure of Jankovits, who was often pulled down by the weight of his own unforced errors.
While the hard-fought first set, which included a tie-break, lasted an hour and nine minutes, the equally energy-sapping second consumed 51 minutes.
Before the start of this dramatic encounter on Court 1, top seed Ti Chen of Chinese Taipei confidently handled his quarterfinal against Mathias Wunner of Germany, winning 6-3, 6-4 in slightly less than an hour.
Wednesday’s headliner Nam Hyun-woo, who shattered compatriot Kwon Soon-woo’s quest for his third title of the series on Wednesday, was himself a victim of exhaustion.
Up against Germany’s Tom Schonenberg, Nam was quickly worked out of the first set and was 3-0 down when he decided to concede the match.
In today’s first semifinal, Schonenberg will face Ti Chen.
Another Korean who could not handle the heat of the contest and its physical demands was eighth seed Cho Min-yeok, who threw in the towel after losing the first set 6-3 to Japan’s Masato Shiga, who will take on Kim Cheong-eui in the second semifinal.
However, after the mandatory rest period, Cho got back on to the court with his Korean partner Jeong Young-hoon and the pair combined well to oust third seed Richard Gabb of Great Britain and Niesten Miliaan of the Netherlands 7-6, 6-1 to reach the final.
In the other semifinal, the German pair of Tom Schonenberg and Mathias Wunner got the better of Roy Hobbs of Singapore and Kelsey Stevenson of Canada 7-5, 6-2.