Japan’s Kei Nishikori breaks his racket in his third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Korea’s Hyeon Chung at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France. Saturday, June 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press
PARIS (AP) — Hyeon Chung fought back from two sets down against Kei Nishikori to keep alive his bid to become the first South Korean to reach the fourth round of the French Open.
Nishikori was leading 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 0-3 when rain stopped play on Saturday. The match will resume Sunday.
It is the first time in the Open era two Asian men have met as late as the third round in a Grand Slam tournament.
Chung has never beaten a top-10 player in six attempts.
But he was making the eighth-seeded Nishikori, the first Asian man to contest a Grand Slam final at the 2014 U.S. Open, look ordinary.
Nishikori had to save a set point in the first set. In the second, the Japanese star appeared to have problems with the same right wrist he had treatment on in his second-round win over Jeremy Chardy. But he prevailed, and appeared on course for a straight-sets victory in his first meeting with Chung.
However, Chung took the third set in a tiebreaker, bringing up set point with a backhand down the line and clinching it when Nishikori hit long.
Chung broke twice at the start of the fourth set, prompting Nishikori to hurl his racket to the clay in disgust, and breaking it.
Nishikori had treatment on his back, and shortly after the rain started.
Chung began playing tennis with his parents at 6, and continued when a doctor recommended that looking at the color green helped his weak eyesight. ATP players voted him the most improved player in 2015.
In April, he reached the Barcelona quarterfinals as a qualifier, and in May he made his first ATP semifinals in Munich.
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