- Johnny Esfeller
IMG Academy sweeps gold medals in singles and doubles men's tennis at Asian Games
The Asian Games wrapped up in Incheon, South Korea this week, and standing atop the gold medal podiums for men's singles and doubles tennis were IMG Academy Tennis Program alumni Yoshihito Nishioka and Hyeon Chung, respectively. Like Kei Nishikori before him, Nishioka left Japan after earning an opportunity through the Morita Fund, which funds the athletic training and education of promising young Japanese tennis players, and enrolled at IMG Academy at age-14. In the final, Nishioka took down Taiwainese veteran Yen-Hsun Lu in straight sets to become Japan's first Asian Games singles tennis champion in 40 years. The 19-year old won 6-2, 6-2 to seize the gold medal, which was last won in 1974 by Toshira Sakai at the Asian Games in Tehran. Notably, IMG Academy trainee Yuki Bhambri of India was also on the podium after earning bronze medal honors in men's singles.
Meanwhiel in men's doubles, it was a homecoming for Korean native Hyeon Chung, who partnered with countryman Yongkyu Lim (seen left, after their victory) to annex gold in men's doubles. In the final, Chung and Kim bested India's duo of Sanam Singh and Saketh Myneni, 7-5, 7-6(2). Chung and Kim were lauded for their consistent shot selection and drop volleys en route to the win.
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