June 4, 2017 / 3:24 PM / 6 months ago

Happy Chung sees only upsides after Asian defeat

PARIS (Reuters) - Korean Chung Hyeon was supremely sanguine about his 7-5 6-4 6-7(4) 0-6 6-4 defeat to Kei Nishikori in the French Open third round on Sunday, and said the folks back home would not be too disappointed.

French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 3, 2017 South Korea's Hyeon Chung in action during his third round match against Japan's Kei Nishikori Reuters / Christian Hartmann

“In Korea everyone likes Kei because he is number one in Asia,” the 21-year-old smiled.

In any case, it was to some extent ‘mission accomplished’ for the South Korean.

“In my country tennis is not popular yet. So I want to make it more popular in Korea, I hope.”

While reporters probed Chung for remnants of disappointment, the player remained resolutely upbeat.

”Today was a tough match against Kei. It was really fast and good strokes. But I tried my best and maybe I‘m waiting for another day.

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 4, 2017 Japan's Kei Nishikori celebrates after winning his third round match against South Korea's Hyeon Chung Reuters / Benoit Tessier

”I hadn’t played Kei before, never practised. So it was a great experience for me, and a great honour to play against Kei.

”Maybe I want to be better next time. Yeah, it’s (been a) great experience in Paris. I make third round first time in a grand slam. And maybe I have more experience and I have to enjoy.

“I‘m looking forward to another grand slam.”

Chung does not have long to wait with Wimbledon only a handful of weeks away.

A couple of good performances on south-west London’s lush lawns would go some way towards helping the world number 67 achieve his immediate goals.

“I want to break my highest ranking. So maybe I want to make top 50 first, and then maybe if I make top 50...”

Editing by Clare Fallon

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