Tennis

Chung sets up semi-final date with Federer

Chung Hyeon's trailblazing run through the Australian Open continued yesterday, as the relentless South Korean tossed American Tennys Sandgren aside 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to become his nation's first Grand Slam semi-finalist.

Bespectacled like Clark Kent but playing like Superman at a sunbathed Rod Laver Arena, world No. 58 Chung became the lowest-ranked player into the last four at Melbourne Park since Marat Safin in 2004.

The 21-year-old, who will face Roger Federer tomorrow, has also become the youngest men's Grand Slam semi-finalist for eight years.

As in his fourth-round elimination of six-time champion Novak Djokovic, Chung had all the answers against world No. 97 Sandgren, returning virtually everything the battling American could throw at him.

A near-perfect display finished with a wobble when serving out the match, as he squandered a 40-0 lead and saw a total of five match-points evaporate.

He later admitted to thinking prematurely about victory.

"In the last game, many things come together. If I win one more point, I make history in Korea," he said.

"Something, I (was) thinking like that. I have to think about the ceremony. Anyway, I had to stay calm because... The match was not finished yet."

Chung's raw power ultimately prevailed, a blazing forehand into the corner causing a scrambling Sandgren to push his desperate retrieve well past the baseline.

He flashed a broad grin as South Koreans draped in flags roared in the terraces. - REUTERS


YESTERDAY’S RESULTS

WOMEN’S SINGLES, Q-FINALS

  • Angelique Kerber (x21) bt Madison Keys (x17) 6-1, 6-2
  • Simona Halep (x1) bt Karolina Pliskova (x6) 6-3, 6-2

MEN’S SINGLES, Q-FINALS

  • Chung Hyeon bt Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
  • Roger Federer (x2) bt Tomas Berdych (x19) 7-6 (7/1), 6-3, 6-4

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

WOMEN’S SINGLES, S-FINALS

  • Elise Mertens v Caroline Wozniacki (x2)
  • Simona Halep (x1) v Angelique Kerber (x21)


MEN’S SINGLES, S-FINAL

  • Marin Cilic (x6) v Kyle Edmund
Tennis