Kwon Soon-woo has won the Adelaide International 2 men’s singles final to complete a remarkable underdog story, conquering the tournament after entering it as a lucky loser.
The South Korean defeated Spain’s Roberto Baustista Agut on Saturday night, overcoming an opponent ranked 58 places higher and with 10 more ATP titles in the bank.
Soon-woo beat his rival in a dramatic 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4) win to claim his second ATP title.
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Bautista Agut sent a backhand wide with the final shot of the match but challenged the call, stifling Soon-woo’s celebrations.
But when Hawk-Eye confirmed Bautista Agut’s misfired shot on the big screen, a smile appeared on Soon-woo’s face and he placed his hands on his hips in disbelief, the crowd treating him to a rapturous applause.
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“The coronation is complete,” said former English tennis player Mark Petchey in commentary.
“It was (Thanasi) Kokkinakis’ dream last year to win in his hometown, it is Kwon’s this year.
“And what a way he has done it. That will go down as one of the best finals of the year.”
Kwon and Bautista Agut’s epic exchange
Former Australian tennis player Geoff Masters lauded “a fabulous effort”.
“He was up against a man full of experience who jumped to a lead early in the third set,” Masters said.
“He thought his opponent was gone.
“He was just resolute, physically he was superb.
“What a result.
“You can only expect better things from this young man going forward.”
Soon-woo had lost in the second round of tournament qualifying, but was one of two men added to the draw after two players withdrew because of injury.
Soon-woo will meet the USA’s Christopher Eubanks in the first round of the Australian Open, while Bautista Agut is set to face Portugal’s Joao Sousa.
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