Melbourne - South
Korean star Chung Hyeon dumped six-time champion Novak Djokovic out of
the Australian Open on Monday in a sensational fourth round upset.
The 21-year-old beat the battle-weary Serb, who was clearly in pain
as he stretched for balls, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) in 3 hours and 21 minutes in a
night match on Rod Laver Arena.
Chung, the first South Korean man to reach the round of 16 at the
Australian Open, will face American bolter Tennys Sandgren in the
quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Two years ago Djokovic outclassed Chung in straight sets in the
opening round of the Australian Open, but the South Korean spectacularly
reversed the result with three hard-fought sets against the wounded
Serb in the fourth round.
Djokovic, who sought treatment for his troublesome right elbow and an
apparent hip injury when stretching for a ball, battled through in
great discomfort, as Chung stayed composed and mentally tough to claim
his biggest win.
"I didn't know if I was going to win this match tonight, but I was just honoured to play with Novak again," said Chung.
"When I was young I was trying to copy Novak because he's my idol. I can't believe this, dreams come true tonight."
Djokovic showed the effects of playing four rounds in his first
tournament back after six months out since Wimbledon with elbow trouble.
He made a horror start to the match with two double faults in each of his two opening service games for a double break.
The six-time Melbourne winner clawed back to 5-5, but he called for
the trainer to treat his right elbow early in the second set.
It got worse for the Serb former world No 1 as he screamed in agony
stretching for a point, but he gingerly carried on with the signs of
wear and tear plainly visible.
Djokovic attempted to shorten the points and avoid long tiring
rallies given his battle-weary condition as Chung continued to pull
Fast-improving Chung won the Next Gen ATP Finals last November which
featured fellow young guns Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Denis
He dropped serve to start the third set but Djokovic gave the serve
straight back and the South Korean got another break to go ahead 3-1.
But Djokovic bravely dug in and again broke back and took the set to a
tiebreaker where Chung won some outstanding points to hold three match
Djokovic's resistance was finally over when he sent a backhand wide.
Results from the Australian Open on Monday:
Tomas Berdych (CZE x19) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA x25) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Roger Federer (SUI x2) bt Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2
Tennys Sandgren (USA) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x5) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (7/9), 6-3
Chung Hyeon (KOR) bt Novak Djokovic (SRB x14) 7-6 (7/4), 7-5, 7-6 (7/3)
Madison Keys (USA x17) by Caroline Garcia (FRA x8) 6-3, 6-2
Angelique Kerber (GER x21) bt Hsieh Su-wei (TPE) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2
Simona Halep (ROM x1) bt Naomi Osaka (JPN) 6-3, 6-2