Australian Open

Federer hails Chung as future top 10 player

2018-01-26 14:43
Roger Federer (Getty)

Melbourne - Roger Federer hailed Chung Hyeon as a future top 10 player Friday after the South Korean's Australian Open came to a painful end at the hands of the Swiss maestro. 

The defending champion was leading 6-1, 5-2 and in full control when Chung retired with foot blisters, bringing the curtain down on a breakout tournament in which he announced himself as a future star in the making. 

The 21-year-old sent 12-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic packing in the fourth round, although the Serb was carrying an injury and not at his best. 

But he also accounted for fourth seed Alexander Zverev in his best Grand Slam showing so far.

In 20 years at the top, Federer has seen plenty of players come and go and only had praise for the youngster. 

"I think he is already a great player, but we are talking next level excellence and I think he will achieve that," said Federer, who is into his 30th Grand Slam final as he chases a 20th major title.

"We will see much more of him. Top 10 for sure." 

He added that he did not want to put too much pressure and expectation on Chung as "I don't think it's fair". 

But he said: "I think he's going to have a lot of success. At what stage, how much, we will see."

Chung's unexpected run to be the first South Korean in a Grand Slam semi-final has drawn new fans to the sport in his homeland where tennis lags far behind golf and baseball in the popularity stakes.

It also sparked top television ratings and a spike in sales of tennis gear, with Chung set to return home far more famous, and richer, than when he left. 

Nicknamed "The Professor" due to his trademark thick white-rimmed glasses, Chung said he retired because his blisters were "red raw". 

Despite the anti-climax, he said it was great experience and he was "really honoured" to be on the same court as Federer. 

"I enjoyed the two weeks, on court and off court. I'm just really happy," he said. 

"For sure, I played really good in the last two weeks. I made first round of 16, quarters and play Sascha (Zverev), Novak, Roger. I had a really good experience. 

"I think I can play better and better in the future." 

One of his key takeaways was the confidence it had given him. 

"A lot of confidence. I played a lot of good players in the last two weeks. I can play, like, more comfortable on the court with the great players like Roger."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.