Hardworking Chun-Hsin Tseng wants to make a name for himself in the long term | ATP Tour

Asia has a new star in the making. His name? Chun Hsin Tseng.

The #NextGenATP player from Chinese Taipei has risen to new heights over the past year, winning three titles on the ATP Challenger Tour, including two this season. That has helped him rise to a career-high 83rd in the Pepperstone ATP rankings.

Through a combination of hard work and natural talent, Tseng now enjoys weekly successes around the world. The road to the top was far from easy, however, as the 21-year-old had to overcome a number of obstacles to get to this point.

“It was tough at first because we didn’t know anyone to play with [in Chinese Taipei]’ Tseng admitted. “I learned to play at school. But the [National] The federation helped me meet coaches and visit academies and clubs and I started to travel more and more. I went to an academy for three months every year during the summer holidays. It just kept getting better and then when I was 13 I won the Les Petits As junior tournament and Mouratoglou Academy found me and I trained there for four years.”

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Tseng first encountered a racquet at the age of five while playing local courts in Chinese Taipei with his father, Yu Te (known as Ed). With options being limited, the 21-year-old had to rely on the support of his parents, who both worked hard and made sacrifices to help their son achieve his dreams.

“My mother and father owned a food stall at Taipei’s Lehua Night Market where they sold a fruit and sugar dessert. My mother was still at the night market when I started my career, and it was really difficult for her to do it on her own,” Tseng recalls. “It was so much work and took a lot of time. She did it from 5pm to 12-1pm. When I was young, my brother and I helped there, but as I got older and travelled, there was no way to do both.”

With Tseng’s mother helping to provide for him and his family off the pitch, it was the world No. 83’s father who supported Tseng in the process.

“My father is my biggest influence. Once I took the racquet myself and hit the ball over the net and he was so surprised. He slowly started taking me to the courts every day and we played more and more,” said Tseng. “Now my father travels with me and is always by my side.”

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After establishing himself at Mouratoglou Academy at the age of 17, Tseng made his first big steps in the game, making his ATP Challenger Tour debut on home soil in Taipei in 2018.

Results quickly followed at the futures level, with Tseng winning three futures titles in 2018. His results propelled him into the top 500 before reaching 60-42 at all levels in 2019 and 2020 to keep him in the top 300.

Getting to the top is never easy, however, and it proved it for Tseng, who struggled to find his consistent best in 2021, prompting a change.

“In October and November 2021, I was very depressed,” Tseng admitted. “I played four weeks straight and lost every match by at least two match points. I also had problems with my ranking. I was around 280 [in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings] already for two years. But I changed my coach in October, to Benny (Benjamin Ebrahimzadeh), who was the head coach of Mouratoglou Academy.

“He was with me before and we started again at his new academy in Germany in October. From there my game got better and I felt more comfortable on the pitch. I was more aggressive and relaxed and we did a short training session to prepare for the last two tournaments of the year in Maia, Portugal. That’s where I won my first Challenger title. Unless you’re having an obstacle or a difficult time, you don’t know how it feels. It helped me get to know myself better on and off the pitch. It was a very important time.”

With confidence and momentum restored, Tseng has moved on in 2022. The 20-year-old is currently eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Milan and is looking good to make his debut there Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in November if he can continue to perform strongly.

He feels the experience he has gained throughout the season will stand him in good stead to continue his progress in the coming months.

“After my first title at a Challenger in Maia, I felt like I could achieve something on the Tour and I started to know my game better and use my weapons better,” Tseng said while discussing his game. “I found my rhythm and knew that I could assert myself. This challenger is what I will remember best because it helped my confidence when I was really down and that was very important mentally.

“I was happy about the wildcard [2022] Australian Open, but I recently had COVID and quarantined for seven days before my game. That wasn’t such a good experience for the first time in the main draw of a Grand Slam. But I enjoyed the atmosphere there. And I was happy to win my next tournament at Challenger in India [in Bengaluru]. I believed in myself that I could do it and also on clay when I won in Murcia, Spain. I didn’t expect it, but I just work as hard as I can and do my best on the pitch.”

With Tseng eyeing main draw appearances at tour-level tournaments in the future, it looks like he’ll be following in Japan’s footsteps Kei Nishikori and become a consistent presence for Asian tennis on the Tour for years to come.

Meet Tseng
Tennis Idol: Kei Nishikori. We’re both Asian and he’s one of the best players in Asia. And I think we have a very similar style of play. When I was young, I really looked like him to be and play like him.

Hobbies: During COVID before tournaments started again I tried to learn piano. I like music and my mother has a very good friend who is a piano teacher. She said that if I didn’t want to play tennis, I would be a very good piano player. I’ve only studied for seven days and I could already play a song, so I’m not bad.

Favorite Food: In Taiwan the food is amazing and so cheap. If you want different styles, we have it all. Hot pot is my favorite. It’s a hot soup with meat and vegetables in it. I also like chicken curry.

Greatest passion outside of tennis: I like every sport. Basketball, baseball, badminton, snooker, table tennis. I like baseball very much. It’s difficult to play because you need 18 people, but I like throwing. I travel with a glove and I throw too [countryman] Tony Wu when we are together. The Rakuten baseball team in Taiwan is my favorite and Shohei Ohtani is my favorite athlete. The only sport I don’t like is golf. i was terrible

Invite two famous personalities to dinner: Chinese singers Jay Chou and GEM My favorite music is Chinese pop.

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