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Delray Beach Open Tournament Director Mark Baron and Jack Sock celebrate Sock being awarded 'King of Delray Beach' on Monday evening.

Sock Coronated 'King of Delray Beach'

Chung also returns to action for first time since Australian Open SF

The Delray Beach Open has been very good to Jack Sock. The defending champion picked up another victory in South Florida on Monday, his first of the season, beating Aussie qualifier John-Patrick Smith 6-4, 6-4.

Sock, who went 0-2 at the ASB Classic and the Australian Open to start the season, saved all four break points and broke Smith twice during the windy 81-minute first-round contest.

“He's very unorthodox, lefty, serve and volleys a lot. Very unorthodox shots: flat, some spin, some flat, slice. Rushes the net a lot, tricky conditions, tricky player, so I'm happy to get through, definitely,” Sock said.

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After the match, the World No. 8 was presented with a plaque that coronated him “King of Delray Beach”. Sock has won four titles at the Delray Beach Tennis Center: the 2005 USTA Boys' 12 National Spring Championships singles and doubles titles; the 2009 singles and doubles titles at the USTA Boys' 18s National Clay Court Championships.

On the ATP World Tour, the American won the 2013 Delray Beach Open doubles title with James Blake, Sock's first tour-level title of any kind, and last year, the Nebraska native won the Delray Beach Open singles title.

In other action, Hyeon Chung won his first match since advancing to the Australian Open semi-finals, defeating lucky loser Cameron Norrie 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 at the Delray Beach Open on Monday afternoon in one hour, 41 minutes.

"It was a really tough match today because the wind was really strong,” Chung said. "However, I tried to stay calm. The guy played really well at the baseline so I was just trying to focus every point.”

Just a year ago, Chung lost in Delray Beach qualifying. But after soaring from No. 104 to 58th in the ATP Rankings in 2017 — and also winning the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan — the South Korean has quickly become a star on the ATP World Tour. The 21-year-old is now World No. 30.

“I’m trying to enjoy it all the time, because it’s my second time in Delray Beach,” Chung said. "I’m already better than last year.”

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Chung will face the winner of an all-qualifier match between #NextGenATP Kazakh Alexander Bublik and Franko Skugor.

American Donald Young also got off to a strong start in Delray Beach, ousting qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-1, 6-2 in 69 minutes for his first win of the season. The left-hander will play Darian King or Evgeny Donskoy in the second round. Young's compatriot Frances Tiafoe also advanced to the second round. The #NextGenATP American outlasted Aussie Matthew Ebden 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.

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