Adelaide, Jan 13 (SocialNews.XYZ) South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon delivered a high-quality display of baseline hitting on Friday at the Adelaide International 2 to clinch a spot in the championship match with a 7-6(6), 6-7(2), 6-3 semifinal victory against Britain's Jack Draper, here.
Kwon awaits home favourite and 2022 Adelaide International 2 champion Thanasi Kokkinakis or fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut in Saturday's championship match.
Aiming to add to the title he collected in Astana in 2021, Kwon entered the Adelaide International 2 main draw as a lucky loser and has capitalised superbly. After victory over Tomas Machac in the first round, the South Korean defeated Pablo Carreno Busta and Mikael Ymer to reach the final four.
Against Draper, the South Korean showcased his full array of dazzling shot-making. Kwon closed out the opening set tiebreak with probably the shot of the tournament, launching a thunderous forehand past the outstretched Brit.
It was a high-octane first set, with 31 winners struck between both players, complementing their 15 aces. Draper made only six unforced errors for the set but three of them came in the breaker, which proved crucial.
Kwon looked the player most likely to break during the second set, but the 21-year-old Brit hung on to force another tiebreak before seizing control to level the contest.
In a match dominated by serve it was the 25-year-old Kwon, who eventually broke early in the third set, which proved decisive as he maintained his lead to close it out.
"It was a very difficult match today. I would like another two hours though," Kwon said with a grin. He put up a great fight, and I learned a lot from the last time I played him."
For Kwon this was a reversal of last week's result where Draper beat him convincingly 6-2, 6-1 on the same court, and it earned him a spot in his second career ATP final, having previously won the Astana Open in Kazakhstan in 2021.
"Last week he played very well. I tried to be more aggressive and I'm really happy it worked for me," Kwon said.