Rafael Nadal could not have asked for a better start to his quest for his fourth title at the US Open. A routine victory over John Millman was followed by a walkover from Thanasi Kokkinakis who pulled out due to a shoulder injury.
Having played just one match so far, the Spaniard naturally arrives in the third round full of steam and confidence.
In contrast, his next opponent, the 170th ranked Hyeon Chung will be playing his sixth match at the Flushing Meadows this year, having started from the qualifying rounds. Even though he was not required to expend much energy and easily coasted to wins in each of his three matches there, the main draw did indeed prove to be tough.
In the first round, the South Korean had to battle for five sets to subdue the challenge of Ernesto Escobedo. If he expected a comparatively easier workout in his next round, then he was in for a disappointment.
Former Australian Open semifinalist Fernando Verdasco breezed through the first couple of sets, leaving his 23-year-old shell-shocked. It was only from the third set that Chung could actually settle into the match and started showing why he has been highly regarded as an upcoming talent for a long time.
With oodles of spirit and resilience and a never-say-die attitude, Chung pulled through, winning his second consecutive five-setter, reminding the world how and why he made it to the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2018.
He would be needing all that grit and tenacity against someone as feisty as the 18-time Grand Slam champion Nadal, especially when the Spaniard already enjoys a 2-0 lead in their head-to-head showdowns. Drawing inspiration from his last two wins in New York, a highly motivated Chung would, of course, be upbeat to make Nadal work hard, but having played two marathons already, how long his body will cooperate, remains to be seen.
Here is all you need to know about US Open 2019:
Tournament Name: US Open 2019
Date: August 26-September 8, 2019
Category: Grand Slam
Location: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, New York
Surface: Hard Court
Time: (2) Rafael Nadal vs Hyeon Chung on Arthur Ashe Stadium at approx 11:30 pm IST on August 31, 2019
Where to watch US Open 2019?
USA - ESPN and ESPN2
UK and Europe - BBC1, BBC2, and the BBC Red Button.
India - Star Sports Select 1/Select 1 HD and Select 2/Select 2 HD.
Live Stream details for US Open 2019
US Open 2019 live stream is available on Tennis TV (a subscription is needed for the service).
It will also be streamed live on hotstar.com.
The US Open YouTube channel will showcase the behind-the-scenes moments of the tournament and highlights.Published 31 Aug 2019, 22:48 IST