It look South Korean teenager Soon Woo Kwon a shade over an hour to fashion a 7-5, 6-1 win over his compatriot and doubles partner Ji Hoon Son in the final of the $10,000 ITF Men’s Futures for the GLF Open at the National Training Center on Saturday.
Six years after Kwon started playing tennis at the age of 11, the talented youngster has now registered his maiden singles title triumph having won his first doubles event in the company of Son back home earlier this year.
On Friday, Kwon and Son were on the same side of the court facing the Chinese Taipei combination of Kuan Yi Lee and Shao-Fan Liu in the Doubles final.
After winning a touch-and-go first set tie break, the Korean pair battled on level terms until they were forced out of the second set.
In the ensuing super-tie break Lee and Liu nudged out Kwon and Son 13-11 to deprive the Korean pair of their doubles glory
Casting aside that disappointment, Kwon and Son faced off the following day in what was their first competitive fling on the opposite sides of the net with the entire Korean contingent in a jubilant mood, anticipating a lively encounter.
Initially, the hype seemed well justified but after a hard-fought first set the second set threw up an anti-climax.
Kwon had signaled his arrival and title intent on the first day by taking out Second seeded Isamilov. Temur of Uzbekistan and had sustained that assailing form through the next three rounds.
Both Kwon and Son started out on a tentative note, often missing long and wide. But as the match wore on, Kwon began to feel the pace and the court better.
Circuit hardened Son, six years older to his rival, stayed tough behind the baseline as he hung on grimly until he dropped his service in the 12th game to present Kwon with the first set.
It was obvious towards the end of the first set that Son has had to deal with a troubling shoulder and had at one point even contemplated retiring from the contest.
But early in the second set he shrugged off that thought and played on but not with much assurance or optimism he had shown earlier.