Top-seeded Kyoka Okamura (Japan, World No. 270) has reached the quarterfinals of the 2023 NH Bank International Women’s Tennis Tour (Nonghyup Challenger). Okamura, who won the event last year, defeated Koo Yeon-woo (World No. 478, Seongnam City Hall, sponsored by CJ CheilJedang) 6-3 6-4 in the second round.
It was a “make it happen” day for Okamura. With a powerful forehand, Okamura rattled Koo’s defense with a series of strokes near the baseline. With Okamura’s precise strokes, Koo was unable to take control of the rally.
Throughout the match, Koo broke Okamura’s serve only once in the second set. Okamura held his own for the most part, breaking once in the first set and twice in the second to clinch the match.
Okamura said, “I feel relaxed when I come to Goyang. 메이저놀이터 The tournament director (Kim Dong-hyun of NH Bank), the tournament desk staff, and the court environment are all familiar and comfortable. I struggled in the first round of the ITF Incheon Tour last week and this tournament, but I tried to reset my mind, and I think that resulted in a good performance today.”
Unlike in the first round, Koo played with his shoulder taped, saying, “The shoulder injury I had last month got worse again as I played more matches. I have pain when I serve. In today’s match, Okamura’s attack was too good and I couldn’t respond properly,” said Koo. “I will focus on treatment and rehabilitation for the rest of the month so that I can recover my performance before the ITF Changwon Tour next week.”
Baek Da-yeon (NH Bank, World No. 599) and Lee Eun-hye (NH Bank, World No. 810) also fell in the second round.
Baek lost to Korean-American Hannah Chang (USA, World No. 349) 4-6 6-4 6-7(3). She took the top-ranked Jang to a third-set tiebreak, but was unable to capitalize on her last chance as she dropped four games on her own serve. Baek Da-yeon, who earned the nickname “zombie tennis” after playing for 2 hours and 57 minutes in the first round yesterday, played for 3 hours and 3 minutes today.
Lee lost 4-6 6-3 4-6 to the tournament’s No. 2 seed, Lisette Cabrera (AUS), ranked 239th in the world. She rallied from 0-4 in the third set to 3-4 and 4-5, but was unable to complete the comeback.
The doubles pair of Choi Ji-hee (NH Bank) and Kim Da-bin (Gangwon Provincial Office) also failed to advance to the quarterfinals. The pair lost to Haruna Arakawa and Natsuho Arakawa (JPN) in a match tiebreaker, 6-7 6-2 5-10.
This leaves only Park So-hyun (World No. 451, Seongnam City Hall, sponsored by CJ CheilJedang) among the Korean players at the 2023 Nonghyup Challenger. Park will face Jang Hannah for a spot in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 11 a.m. ET.
Organized by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the Korea Tennis Association and presented by NH Bank, the 2023 NH Bank International Women’s Tennis Tour is being held at the All-Won Tennis Park at Nonghyup University in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province. On the 26th, all eight singles quarterfinals and four doubles quarterfinals will be held from 10am.