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A Closer Look at Tennis in South Korea’s Sports Industry

Samsung, a major benefactor of various South Korean sports leagues and associations, recently completed its sponsorship of Spain’s pro-tennis, Mutua Madrid Open. Yet Kwak Yong-woon, President of Korea Tennis Association (KTA) says they still have to incubate new world-class tennis players in the molds of Chung Hyeon and Kwon Soon-woo, to additionally represent the country in ATP’s international tennis tournaments.

About Samsung’s Sponsorship of the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open

The 2021 Mutua Madrid Open (MMO) is the ninth time in a string of consecutive years with which Samsung has kept a sponsorship deal of providing the special uniforms of the MMO ball boys. Although the uniforms are only corollary to Samsung’s main involvement, as provider of the “hawk-eye” system, the electronic device used in TV broadcasting in following the trajectory of the tennis balls. The hawk-eye device also helps the tournament referee decide on any controversial calls made by linesmen.

Although Samsung also provides funding to the KTA, association president Kwak says they have yet to find the next Chung or Kwon, whom they can help develop and train as South Korea’s bet in international Tennis Tournaments.

Speaking of bets, the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open ended last May 09, 2021, which denotes betting markets for this particular championship have already closed. Nonetheless, avid Korean sports bettors can find other betting options via local online sports 토토사이트 (toto betting site).

The Status of Tennis as a National Sport of South Korea

President Kwak Yong-woon said KTA is committed to finding the next Chung or Kwon, whom they will help compete in international championships for world-class tennis players. According to Kwak, Korea still trails behind China and Japan when it comes to tennis infrastructures. The KTA president believes that in order to adequately train aspiring junior-level players, the association has to be more self-sufficient and not simply rely on the financial support of sponsors.

As a matter of fact, after the COVID-19 outbreak subsided in South Korea, tennis was the first nationwide sports event that took place behind closed doors. After all, tennis involves only two players who do not have to have physical contact, since they are naturally positioned on opposite sides of the tennis court. Yet the very nature of the sport highlights its significance as an athletic event least likely to be affected by an ongoing coronavirus health crisis.

KTA’s Role in Promoting Tennis as a National Sport in Korea

Kwak says there is an increasing number of young people who are showing interest in tennis. The KTA took note that currently in Korea’s metropolitan areas, there are more than 150 small private tennis training facilities. In order to sustain the growing interest, the KTA has been promoting “red-ball tennis” tournaments in metropolitan elementary schools.

Through the slower-moving red felt balls, shorter rackets and smaller courts, children with special knack for tennis but who cannot afford to enroll in tennis training facilities will be able to have a good beginning in the development of their natural talent and skills.

Apparently, many of Korea’s younger generation draws inspirations from two of South Korea’s tennis superstars, Chung Hyeon and Kwon Soon-woo.

Chung Hyeon defeated Novak Djokovic, a former world Number one and 6-time Australia Open Champion, which made Hyeon the first Korean to reach a Grand Slam semifinal in the Australian Open.

Kwon Soon-woo, on the other hand, who at age 23 has pulled off an impressive feat of attaining a career-high ranking of 69th in the ATP singles last March 2020.