Amid the relentless heat and with no cloud cover in sight, Korea’s Seong Chan Hong (5) beat Japan’s Rio Noguchi (4) 6-3, 6-2 in the Harmon King U25 World Tennis Tour final of the International Tennis Federation on Sunday at Guam National. Tennis center in Harmon, Guam.
The win was Hong’s second title of 2022.
“It was so tough. It was so hot,” said Hong, who needed just over 1 hour and 30 minutes to beat his opponent. “So I just did my best. And then the other players were playing well, but I really gave my best. So I feel really happy now. So, like, I feel like a step forward for my career,” the non-native English speaker added.
Hong opened the match with two holds and a break of serve, but Noguchi fought back to level the first set at 3-all. As the two players battled from the baseline, neither venturing to the net more than a few times, Noguchi was unable to match Hong’s intensity, power and consistency.
Although the final scoreline indicated a lopsided game, both players braved the elements and entertained the crowd.
“I trained very hard this summer and I feel really strong now,” Hong said.
With the Guam title secured, Hong will see if he can make it two in a row. With the first qualifying rounds already underway, Guam is hosting the second of two professional men’s tournaments, which will conclude on June 12.
Hong said he would do his best to win another title in Guam.
Admission is free for the public.