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By Tennis Now | Thursday, October 3, 2019

 
Hyeon Chung

Hyeon Chung topped Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 charging into his first Tour-level quarterfinal of the year in Tokyo—and denying the Croatian his 500th career victory.

Photo credit: @RakutenOpen

Marin Cilic was playing for history, but Hyeon Chung punctured his painful past with a dynamic Tokyo performance.

A focused Chung conquered Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 charging into his first Tour-level quarterfinal of the year in Tokyo—and denying the Croatian his 500th career victory.

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A strong serving effort helped Chung complete what he called "one of the best wins of my career so far."

The 23-year-old Chung, who knocked off Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic en route to the 2018 Australian Open semifinals, missed nearly six months of this season with a back injury.

Chung served 62 percent, pumped 11 aces and won 37 of 41 first-serve points in a clean two hour, two-minute victory.

"I’m just really happy because this is one of the best wins in my career so far. It was a really tough match against one of the best players in the world," Chung said. "I’m just trying to enjoy every point."

Though Cilic had won all six prior sets the pair played, Chung crunched combinations with authority.

The world No. 143 advanced to the Tokyo quarterfinals where he will play David Goffin.

The third-seeded Belgian edged Denis Shapovalov 7-6(5), 7-6(2) in a match devoid of a service break. Shapovalov hit 10 aces but committed seven double faults. Goffin advanced to his seventh quarterfinal of the season and first since he was runner-up to Daniil Medvedev in Cincinnati in August.

Tennis Express

Goffin, the 2017 Tokyo champion, is playing for his fifth career title and first since he defeated Adrian Mannarino to win Tokyo two years ago. The 28-year-old Belgian has beaten Chung in two of three prior meetings.

"He’s really one of the best players in the world,” Chung said. “We know how to play each other because we practised many times and we played a few matches, so I’m just trying to do my best tomorrow.”

Australian qualifier John Millman, who beat Mannarino in the first round, dispatched South African Lloyd Harris 6-3, 6-2 in the day's opening round of 16 match. Millman meets Japanese wild card Taro Daniel for a semifinal spot.

 

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