Rarely if ever can such brilliant tennis have been seen at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Hyeon Chung relentlessly probed the corners of the court, and each time Pablo Cuevas was there with his riposte.
Every time the Korean served, a new set of possibilities opened up. On one point, Cuevas finished on the same side of the net as Chung after miraculously retrieving a seemingly perfect drop shot. On another the Korean hit what looked for all the world like a winning smash only for the Uruguayan to thrust out his racket at the last moment and send an unreachable lob spinning onto the baseline.
Time and time again they rallied, with advantages and deuces passing with no hint of an end in sight. The more Chung went for the winner, the faster Cuevas’ legs carried him in pursuit. Time stood still. The watching spectators sat mesmerised. Some rallies lasted twenty or thirty shots, but non-one was counting. Then suddenly, it was over. Chung missed, and Cuevas had the game. It was his first of the set, and after winning it he trailed 1-6, 1-5. Two games later he was beaten, but the Stadium 2 crowd rose as one to salute a gallant effort. They had witnessed something very special.
Hyeon Chung won 6-1 6-3 and will face either Roger Federer or Jeremy Chardy in the quarter finals.