‘Zombie Tennis’ Baek Da-yeon, who made her opponent lose… Korea’s first Billie Jean King Cup ‘Heart Award’ winner

The first round of the singles competition at the ‘NH Bank International Women’s Tennis Tour 2023’ at Nonghyup University Court in Samsong-ri, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, on Thursday.

National team member Baek Da-yeon (21-NH Nonghyup Bank) came from behind to win 2-1 (1-6, 6-4, 7-5) against Kayla McPhee (25) of Australia in a three-hour battle to reach the round of 16. Her opponent is a ‘power hitter’ who has risen as high as 199th in the WTA Tour singles rankings.

McPhee won the first set 6-1 with her powerful strokes, but in the second set, she struggled with Baek Da-yeon’s tenacious strokes and return shots.

Kayla McPhee of Australia is carried off on a stretcher after her match against Baek Da-yeon. Contributed by Dowon Kim Freelancer 메이저사이트.

McPhee called a medical timeout at the end of the third set, complaining of breathing difficulties, and struggled to finish the match after receiving first aid. But as he left the court, he winced in pain again and had to be stretchered off.

Baek Da-yeon is notorious among players for her tireless physical strength. It was a testament to her strengths that she won four consecutive women’s singles titles at the Jang Ho-bae, Korea’s most prestigious junior event, during her third year at Seoul Central Girls’ High School.

On the same day, it was announced that Baek Da-yeon would become the first Korean player to receive the Billie Jean King Cup Heart Award. The Billie Jean King Cup is the national championship for women’s tennis.

Baek Da-yeon. Korea Tennis Association

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced the winners of the Heart Award for each of the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers and Regional Qualifiers (Asia-Oceania, Europe-Africa, and the Americas) on Wednesday.

As a result of online voting on the Billie Jean King Cup website from December 12-19, Baek Da-yeon (Korea) beat out Mai Hontama (Japan) to win the Asia-Oceania Region Group 1 Heart Award.

Established in 2009, the Billie Jean King Cup Heart Award recognizes players who have shown extraordinary courage on the court while representing their country and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team. One winner will be selected from each of the following categories: Main Draw, Qualification, Playoffs, Group 1 from the Americas, Group 1 from Asia-Oceania, and Group 1 from Europe-Africa.

Baek Da-yeon made her Billie Jean King Cup debut after earning her first national team call-up. He picked up two singles wins against China and Uzbekistan to help South Korea qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.

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