Korea come from behind to stun Belgium in Davis Cup qualifiers
Korea overturned a 2-0 deficit to beat Belgium in the Davis Cup qualifiers on Sunday, earning a spot in the 2023 Davis Cup Finals after a pulling off a phenomenal upset for Korea’s greatest come-from-behind win in the history of the tournament.
Korea won all three matches on Sunday on the Olympic Tennis Court in Jamsil, southern Seoul, pulling out all the stops after losing the opening two matches on Saturday.
Davis Cup events consist of five matches, four singles and one doubles. In Jamsil over the weekend, two singles matches were scheduled for Saturday, with the doubles match starting Sunday followed by two more singles.
After dropping the first two matches on Saturday — top Korean Kwon Soon-woo lost the opener 6-1, 4-6, 6-7 to Zizou Bergs and Hong Seong-chan lost 6-4, 6-2 to David Goffin — Korea had to pull off the impossible and win all three remaining matches to earn a spot in the finals.
Nam Ji-sung and Song Min-kyu kept that dream alive in the doubles, making short work of Belgium’s Joran Vilegen and Sander Gill in a tight match, 7-6, 7-6 with lengthy tie-breakers at the end of each set.
Kwon picked up the baton as he faced top Belgian Goffin. Kwon, who ranks at world No. 61, beat the world No. 41 surprisingly quickly, losing the opening set 6-3, but dominating over the next two, 6-1, 6-3.
With the series tied at 2-2, it came down to world No. 240 Hong to beat No. 112 Zizou Bergs to take the victory.
Hong, the Korean No. 2, took the game to Bergs early, winning the first set 6-3 to put the Belgian on the back foot. The second set went to a long tie-breaker, with Hong eventually winning 7-4 to take the 7-6 set and win the match in straight sets, handing Korea the qualifier and a spot in the finals while Belgian are forced to continue the competition in World Group I.
This is Korea’s second straight year reaching the Davis Cup finals, after last year beating Austria 3-1 in the qualifiers to earn a spot in the top tournament. Korea competed in Group B last year, losing all three match-ups against Serbia, Canada and Spain.
The group stage of the Davis Cup Finals is set to begin on Sept. 12, with the knockout stage following in November.
BY PAIK JI-HWAN [email@example.com]