South Korea seeks third consecutive Davis Cup berth…faces Canada on the road

The South Korean national tennis team is traveling to Canada to compete in the Davis Cup, the World Cup of Tennis, for the third consecutive year.

On Feb. 3 at 6 a.m. and Feb. 4 at 4 a.m. KST, South Korea will play two away matches at the IGA Stadium in Montreal, Canada, in the final round of the Davis Cup.

With a win, Korea will advance to the World Round of 16 for the third consecutive year for the first time in its history, while a loss will drop them to World Group 1. The match will be played in a best-of-five, best-of-three format, with two singles matches on day one, followed by one doubles and two singles matches on day two.

Led by head coach Kim Young-jun (Konkuk University), the team consists of Kwon Soon-woo (700th), Nam Ji-sung (140th in doubles, Sejong City Hall), Song Min-kyu (399th in doubles, KDB), Lee Jae-moon (504th, KDB), and Hong Seong-chan (224th, Sejong City Hall).

They have met Canada once before, in the first round of the Davis Cup main draw in 2022. Kwon Soon-woo won the first game against then World No. 13 Felix Oje Aliasim, but lost 1-2. Canada went on to win the Davis Cup that year.

After missing last year’s season with a shoulder injury, Soon-woo Kwon is using her protected ranking to play nine tour events this year. “My first tournament of the season was the Australian Open, and after playing well, I’ve been training and getting better every day. I think I’m more focused at the national tournaments because I have more responsibility than pressure. I’ve been to the main draw for two years in a row, so I’m hungry for it again. I want to finish well with a good teammate,” she said.

Hong, who completed a dramatic 3-2 upset in last year’s final against Belgium, is off to a strong start to the season, recently finishing as the singles runner-up at the third edition of the Bangkok Open Challenger.

“I worked hard in winter training. I trained thinking about how to be more aggressive, and I applied it to my matches, and my good results gave me confidence. I’m in great shape right now.”

Nam Ji-sung and Song Min-kyu, who defeated Belgium’s top 20 doubles team last year, are also preparing to be at their best. “At that time, we gained confidence that we could win if we played well enough,” Nam said. We will work on our deficiencies so that we can play confidently,” he said.

“We lost to Canada two years ago,” said captain Song Min-gyu, “but I think this is a chance to redeem ourselves. Rankings are just numbers. We have a tremendous team spirit in national competitions, so if we seize the opportunity when it comes, Canada will have a hard time against us,” he said.

Lee Jae-moon, who was named to the Davis Cup roster for the first time, said, “We will try to play well as a team and advance to the main draw for the third consecutive year.”

“We had a close match against Canada in the recent Davis Cup, so I think they will be under pressure. We have a good chance of winning. We are going to win, so please support us a lot.”

The Davis Cup is a tennis World Cup where the 16 best nations in the world compete in a group stage and a final tournament to determine the strongest.

Of the 16 nations that qualified for last year’s tournament, four – Italy and Australia, the winners and runners-up, respectively, and Great Britain and Spain, who received wild cards – advanced directly to the 2024 Davis Cup.

The remaining 24 nations, including South Korea and the 12 winners of last year’s World Group 1, will go head-to-head for the 12 qualifying spots.

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