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Qualifier Lee Takes Sydney Title

The son of a South Korean potato farmer who had to play three qualifying matches to get into the tournament has won the final of the Sydney International

Korean qualifier Hyung-Taik Lee saved a match point to upset second seed Juan Carlos Ferrero 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4) to win his first ATP title at the adidas International in Sydney. Lee, who turned 27 on January 3 during a 15-hour flight from Doha, needed eight set points in the second set to take the match to a deciding set. After finding himself down a break - and down a match point in his final service game - Lee fought back to take the match to a tie-break, and closed out the first of two match points he held.

In 2000 at the Sydney Olympics, when the players met for the only other time, it was Ferrero who saved two match points before winning the match. Ferrero, who was looking for his eighth career title, would have moved to No.3 in the ATP Entry Ranking ahead of Marat Safin had he won today. Lee, who ended 2002 at No.88, is expected to move into the high 60s when the new ATP Entry Rankings are released.

In all of 2002 just one qualifier, Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu (Moscow), went on to win the title after qualifying.

Lee was playing his first ATP final since losing to Andy Roddick in the 2001 Houston final. He is the first Korean to win an ATP singles title and the sixth Asian player to win an ATP title.

South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung telephoned immediately after the match to extended his congratulations. Lee was showering at the time and his coach Choi Hee-June took the call.

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

Lee: "It gives me a lot of pride to win in Sydney. I've learned a lot of things from some good players this week. Some of my weaknesses were exposed and I know what I need to work on. I want to improve my ranking, play bigger tournaments and then set higher goals.

On the eight set points he had in the second set: "I wasn't counting but I knew it was a lot.

"Something special is happening with Asian tennis. Paradorn has been doing so well and his success has had an impact on me. We're the only two players from Asia playing full time on the tour. It would be nice to get a group of players on the tour, like you have with the Spaniards and Russians."

Ferrero: "I finished last season disappointingly [by losing the Tennis Masters Cup final] and now I start very disappointingly. I had a lot of chances to win both those finals. Sometimes tennis can be tough and right now it is. I gave it my all today and I think we played a great match. He won the match - I didn't lose it. All I needed was one more point. Two years ago he had match point and I won; today it was the other way around.

"But I still feel good going into the Australian Open. I don't feel tired and I won't dwell on this loss."
 

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Lol TC!

I saw that and for a minute thought about informing the "Peeler thread" folks that they'd have more work to do (a whole crop of spuds :eek: ) but decided against encouraging the incorrigibles ...
 

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Good job, even though I wanted Juan Carlos to win! It's nice to hear about these players that have to go through so much win!!
 

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About Hyung-Taik Lee, he has been in 2000's US open. He entered the 4th round, and lost to Sampras.
Before Srichaphan, he has been the 1st player of Asia.
 

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Good for Lee. I do wish he could have won that first title against Roddick though :eek: But really, how can I possibley be mad at him?

Now buck up Ferrero, and don't go losing to anybody named Franco. But do be cautious, as your eighth is just full of those qualifiers that you seem unable to beat *smirk*
 

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Discussion Starter #9
WOW!!!! Proteus is resurrected!!!!!

proteus said:
Lol TC!

I saw that and for a minute thought about informing the "Peeler thread" folks that they'd have more work to do (a whole crop of spuds :eek: ) but decided against encouraging the incorrigibles ...
where the heck have you been luv???

glad you appreciated the joke...;) ;)

in truth, Hyung-Taik Lee is the son of a Potato Farmer. i didn't make this up folks, i swear. and really it's high time he got an appropriate nickname. any suggestions??? anyone???
 

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Why can't we just leave him as "Son of a Potato Farmer" ? It has a nice ring to it.

But then again, it's too long to type.

But really, we can't just let that go to waste, we need to do something with it!
 

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:)

Pity he's has a potential 2nd round with the 2nd seed @ AO...

how would the peelers react had he faced the top seed instead... :p :angel:
 

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Wow I didnt know Potato and Farmer got together and had a son! Anyway congratulations Lee, you played really well and deserved the win!
 

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Re: WOW!!!! Proteus is resurrected!!!!!

tennischick said:
where the heck have you been luv???
.........
Hi hun! Well, you know I have a thing for eyes ...
Seriously, do you think I should change my username to Lazarus?

Hopefully Hyung-Taik Lee carries his form and confidence into the AO and does well! He's certainly got to have loads of energy, growing up on such a high-carbohydrate diet!
 
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