Alot of people were introduced to 19-year-old Korean tennis professional Hyeon Chung at the U.S. Open the other day, when he battled Stan Wawrinka to three tie break sets. Though he lost the match, he won many new fans.
I actually met Chung a few weeks earlier, when I strung his rackets at the ATP Tour Citi Open in Washington, DC. And I really only met him because I used to string rackets for his translator, Hyondo Church (in the middle of the picture below).
The global world of tennis can be a small one at times. Before he moved to Illinois to continue his doctoral studies, Hyondo lived near me in North Carolina. I often strung tennis rackets for him and his friends, and we had many conversations about stringing. He now has a nice racket stringing business himself in Urbana-Champaign.
Hyondo previously worked with Korean tennis star Hyung-taik Lee, and before he left North Carolina gave me one of my prized tennis possessions: a Korean Davis Cup jersey.
I don’t know when I will see either Chung again, but I hope it is sooner rather than later. Until then, I will look forward to watching the continuing development of Hyeon Chung’s game on TV as he looks to surpass Hyung-taik Lee’s mark in Korean tennis.