Two days ago, Hyeon Chung scored the biggest win of his career, beating world No. 4 Alexander Zverev in the third round of the Australian Open. The 21-year-old, 58th-ranked South Korean followed up that upset with another giant one on Monday night, stunning 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, 7-6 (4), 7-5, 7-6 (3).
Here are five takeaways from Chung’s primetime win over the six-time Australian Open champion:
1. He’s now the first Korean, male or female, to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal. Only two other Koreans had reached the round of 16 of any major: Hyung-Taik Lee doing it on the men’s side at the US Open in 2000 and 2007, and Duk-Hee Lee doing it on the women’s side at the US Open in 1981.
But they were both stopped there, and Chung is the first from his country to make a final eight.
2. He held his ground against one of the greatest returners of all time. Chung saved 14 of the 19 break points he faced against the always-lethal Djokovic return. Meanwhile, he converted six of the 10 break points he had on the Serb’s serve. His ground game was also incredibly solid. Playing one of the fastest players in the game, his groundstrokes produced 39 winners to 35 unforced errors.
3. He beat his childhood idol. Chung's official ATPWorldTour.com bio says: “Growing up, looked up to Novak Djokovic because of his fantastic game and mental strength.” He had lost their only previous career meeting, a 6-3 6-2 6-4 defeat in the first round of the Australian Open two years ago.
4. He dealt Djokovic his first straight-set loss at the Australian Open in 11 years. The last time Djokovic lost in straight sets in Melbourne was a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 defeat to Roger Federer in the fourth round in 2007. The Serb had won at least one set (and usually three) in 62 matches there since.
5. He now has an amazing opportunity to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal. The No. 58-ranked Chung could have played No.5 seed Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals, but instead he’ll square off against No. 97-ranked American Tennys Sandgren, who kept his breakthrough fortnight alive on Monday night with a marathon 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (7), 6-3 fourth-round victory over Thiem.
The two have played each other just once, just a few weeks ago in the first round of the ATP World Tour 250 event in Auckland, with Chung battling to a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win in two hours and 12 minutes. This time, there's a lot more on the line.
The players that he's beaten in the last year to present: A. Zverev (twice), M. Zverev (twice), Gael Monfils, P. Kohlschreiber, D. Goffin, D. Shapovalov, A. Rublev, B. Coric, S. Querrey, G. Muller, D. Medvedev, and N.Djokovic!...He may not have the titles that A. Zverev has but I will say this: I think that he has the better upside and game and now mentality...
Did he just not want to be beaten by Chung? _______________
Australian Open 2018: MASSIVE fine for player after retiring from Hyeon Chung match
AUSTRALIAN OPEN authorities have handed Mischa Zverev the biggest on-site fine in Grand Slam history as part of a crackdown on first-round retirements.
Zverev was the No 32 seed in the draw and faced Hyeon Chung in the first round, but retired while 6-2, 4-1 down, citing illness.
But that excuse has not been accepted and Zverev has been fined £32,000 for his poor performance.
Chung has gone on to knock out Zverev’s brother Alexander, the No 4 seed, and former world No 1 Novak Djokovic on his way to a first ever Grand Slam quarter-final.
Zverev is the first player to fall foul of new rules aimed at addressing a raft of mid-match retirements during the first round of slams.
An unintended consequence of the big increases in first-round prize money at the slams in recent years had been that players who were not fully fit were starting matches but not completing them because they did not want to give up their pay day.
At Wimbledon last summer, seven men retired during their first-round matches, including the opponents of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in back-to-back matches on Centre Court.
Following in the footsteps of the ATP Tour, the Australian Open is the first slam tournament to introduce new rules whereby players who withdraw ahead of their first-round matches can claim half of the prize money, with the other half going to the lucky loser who replaces them in the draw.
Zverev opted not to take that course of action and has paid a heavy price, relinquishing all but £2,000 of his prize money.
Last edited by Grossefavourite on Jan Tue 23, 2018 11:21 am;
I'm all for that rule. This is a professional sport and you need to be ready to compete at a professional level or stay home (people pay good money to watch your match). Players need to be more thoughtful of that.
Rojay is always ALWAYS throwing oak trees at Novak. 110%? Really? So I guess he was 100% then? No shade? Trees, trees, trees...
“I'm very excited to play Chung. I thought he played an incredible match against Novak. I mean, to beat him here is one of the tough things to do in our sport, I believe. I know that Novak maybe wasn't at 110 per cent, but he was all right. He was giving it a fight till the very end. To close it out, that was mighty impressive,” Federer said after beating Tomas Berdych for the 20th time to advance to the semi-finals. Read Report
“To bounce back from a Novak match and just somehow get it done today, this afternoon, that's tough. That shows that he's had good composure, a great mindset. Also physically he must have recovered because Novak is going to give you a bit of a workout. I think it's an interesting match for me. I'll definitely have to look into how I need to play against him because he has some great qualities, especially defensively, like Novak has.”
Semi retirement is unacceptable. Rojay should be forced to play a full match either against Berdych or Sandgren. Same for the final. If there's a retirement, the match should be rescheduled against one of the semifinal losers.