Hyeon Chung of South Korea was the winner of the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals, in the championship upsetting top-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia 3-4(5), 4-3(2), 4-2, 4-2 in the experimental short-set scoring format in Milan, Italy.
“I really don’t know how I won here in Milan,” said Chung after capturing his first career ATP title. “Really tough match tonight against Rublev. He was better than the last time [we played]. So I was just trying to play my best.”
The 21-year-old Chung is the first South Korean to win an ATP title since Hyung-Taik Lee 14 years ago.
Rublev rued his chances, saying he was the dominant player until he let his emotions get the best of him.
“I was playing much better than him,” the Russian said. “I was dictating the match, and then just because I let my emotion go out and everything changed, because Chung, he was always there. He was always focused. He was always in the match. No matter if something went wrong, he was still fighting.”
Chung also beat Rublev in round robin play en route to going 3-0 and into the semifinals. The No. 6 seed advanced past the semifinals at an ATP event for the first time.
In the third and fourth set Chung’s relentless defense wore on Rublev, whose frustrations became apparent. Chung clinched the title in the fourth set on a no-ad point. Both players collected one of the largest paychecks of their career, Chung $390,000 and Rublev $235,000.
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