Hector Orrego Bocchieri

Tennis

The 17-year-old Chinese tennis player became the first player born in 2005 to reach the semifinals of a Challenger after breaking it in Lexington by eliminating the Russian Román Safiulin, 124 in the world, and now his coach, Chino Ríos, will have to fulfill his word and hit a tremendous pique to see it.

Shang made history at the age of 17 and Chino Ríos will have to fulfill a particular promise he made to him.
© @junchengshang05 and ArchiveShang made history at the age of 17 and Chino Ríos will have to fulfill a particular promise he made to him.

One of the great revelations of world tennis in recent times has been the Chinese Juncheng Shangwho at only 17 years old is already ranked 334th in the ATP Rankings and dazzles with his talent. A unique shine that reached the eyes of the Chilean Marcelo Rioswho has been his coach for almost a month.

The Chinese, former number one in the world and who has been training him since mid-July, tried to motivate his young pupil for his next challenge and made him a particular promise: if he advanced to the semifinals of the Lexington Challenger he would travel to see him. And the Asian fulfilled his part of the bargain.

Shang had to collide with the Russian Román Safiulin (124th), which was the first seed of the competition played on hard courts in the United States, for the round of 16. And despite being overrun in the first set, he put on a real show to come back and make history.

The match lasted 2 hours and 12 minutes and Ríos’ pupil won 0-6, 6-4 and 7-5, registering as the first player born in 2005 to get into the top four of a Challenger.

With this, Marcelo Ríos will have to fulfill the promise he made to his pupil and will jump from directing him only in training to taking the step to accompanying him from the stands so that he can compete for a place in the final. Of course, he will have to stick a tremendous pique as they say in good Chilean.

The former Creole tennis player will have to leave his home in Florida to travel more than 1,400 kilometers to Lexington, Kentucky, and witness the semifinal clash that his pupil Juncheng Shan will star against the American Aleksandar Kovacevic (229th), who has just eliminated Ecuadorian Roberto Quiroz (267th).

Shang and Kovacevic will collide this Saturday, August 6 for a place in the grand final of the Lexington Challenger and the young Chinese promise of world tennis will have his coach, Chilean Marcelo “Chino” Ríos, watching him from the stands.

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