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Racquet-smashing South Korean Kwon sorry for Asian Games meltdown

Hangzhou (China) (AFP) – Racquet-smashing South Korean tennis player Kwon Soon-woo wrote a letter of apology on Tuesday for his spectacular meltdown following a shock defeat at the Asian Games.

Thailand’s lower-ranked Kasidit Samrej stunned Kwon 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the men’s singles second round in Hangzhou on Monday, triggering a furious response from the 25-year-old South Korean.

Pictures went viral of him smacking his racquet on the court nine times at the end of the match, destroying it, and then snubbing concerted efforts by his victorious opponent to shake hands.

Kwon, ranked 112 in the world to his opponent’s 636 and a hot favourite for a medal, was widely condemned at home in South Korea.

He has since visited Thailand’s training camp and apologised, Yonhap news agency said, citing the Korea Tennis Association. His apology was reportedly accepted.

The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee released a hand-written letter of apology by Kwon, who has two ATP titles to his name.

In his letter, Kwon said he regretted what he called “a careless act”.

“I sincerely apologise to all the Korean people who support the national team and to the fans at the stadium. I’m sorry,” he wrote.

“I once again sincerely apologise to Samrej, who would have been offended by my rude behaviour.

“I sincerely regret it and am reflecting on my actions after the match.”

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