Asian teens moving up at US Open
TWO Asian teenagers have advanced to the second round of the US Open, indicating the rise of a young generation on tennis' biggest stage.
Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka outlasted France's Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (7-9), 6-1, 6-2 after 3hr 22min in sweltering heat on Tuesday, while South Korea's Chung Hyeon ripped apart Australian James Duckworth 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 in 96min.
Chung, ranked 69th, and 128th-ranked left-hander Nishioka - both 19 - are the lone remaining teens among 10 that reached the men's main draw, the most at the US Open since 12 teens made the line-up in 1990.
One of them, Pete Sampras, won his first of 14 Slams at age 19.
"We didn't have one generation like this for a while. They are here now. That's good for tennis," said Spanish star Rafael Nadal, who won the first of his 14 career Slam titles at age 19 at the 2005 French Open.
"The best player will be the one to improve more. That's the thing that will make the difference in this new generation."
Nishioka, who turns 20 on Sept 27, will face Brazilian 30th seed Thomaz Bellucci in the second round and could see British third seed Andy Murray in the third round.
It was the first main-draw Slam victory for Nishioka, who made his Slam debut at last year's US Open.
"I'm very happy to win the first round because it's the first time I've won in a Grand Slam," Nishioka said. "After the last point, I was pretty tired."
But he had been working out in the Florida heat last week, saying he was accustomed to the conditions.
"I was training at IMG (Academy) for a few days before the US Open qualifying," he said.
Swiss fifth seed Stan Wawrinka, the reigning French Open champion, will be the next foe for Chung, who fired 10 aces and landed nearly 70 per cent of his first serves while dropping only six points on second serves in advancing without facing a break point.
"He's really good mentally," Duckworth said of Chung. "He doesn't get down when something goes wrong. Definitely, he has won a lot of matches to get into the top 100. That has to build up a lot of confidence."
Chung made his Grand Slam debut this year at Wimbledon, falling to Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in five sets, surrendering only after pushing the last to 10-8.