The Junior Race to Singapore took us to Korea over the month of June as we witnessed Im Hee Ree and Kwon Jimin win the U14 and U16 categories respectively. Their victory earned them each a spot at the WTA Future Stars event in Singapore this October, giving them the once in a lifetime chance to represent their country in matches against leading junior players in the region.
“I am very happy to have the opportunity to play with other top junior players and cannot wait to be part of all the action in Singapore,” the U14 champion, Im, said to the WTA Finals team.
Her journey in tennis began when someone recommended the sport to her during a visit to a tennis court. Her life changed forever when she picked up the tennis racket and hit for the first time. Fast forward to now, she has accolades in both the Singles and Doubles. Not a stranger to winning, Im has even collected silverware in tournaments overseas, including countries like Italy.
“I want to grow as a player and be able to challenge world class players,” she spoke without hesitation when she was asked what her biggest goal in the sport was.
Im has always been a supporter of French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko. Ostapenko’s tenacity and aggressive style of play during matches make her a very interesting player. Im looks up to Ostapenko and hopes to be able to play like herin the near future.
Performing well in matches gives her a sense of accomplishment. Determined and ambitious, Im is certain she will join the greats one day and cannot wait to start right here with us at the WTA Future Stars event.
Kwon, too, could not contain her excitement either when she spoke to us about her victory at the qualifying event.
“I am looking forward to being in Singapore for the WTA Future Stars event and seeing the top players. I cannot wait to watch and learn from them”, she beamed.
Not a stranger to representing Korea, Kwon has already participated in Elementary School competitions and at the ITF World Junior Tennis competitions. Her biggest goal in tennis is to be one of the top players in WTA, and she believes that playing at our event this October will be a step in the right direction for her to achieve that.
She was introduced to tennis by her parents, who have been her strongest pillar of support throughout her journey in the sport. She loves that tennis is both challenging and fun and feels that it always keeps her on her toes. Kwon enjoys the opportunity to travel and meet players all over the world and would not trade it for anything.
When asked who her favorite player was, Kwon picked French Open runner up Simona Halep. She enjoys watching her play, and feels their style is very similar. Halep has been a constant inspiration to Kwon, climbing the ranks at a very young age.
The WTA Finals team would like to congratulate both Im and Kwon on their victory at the qualifier event and wish them the best as they train for the WTA Future Stars event in Singapore this October.
The WTA Future Stars event is held in conjunction with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Catch the WTA Future Stars U14 and U16 Finals on 22 October before the opening ceremony of WTA Finals for free. Click here to get your tickets to the WTA Finals.