Tennis

South Korea's Chung charges into Australian Open semis

The world No. 58 will meet Federer or Berdych in the semis

South Korea’s unseeded Chung Hyeon charged into the semi-finals of the Australian Open with a straight-set win over 97th-ranked Tennys Sandgren on Wednesday (Jan 24).

The 21-year-old will be the youngest men's semi-finalist at a Grand Slam for eight years, and the lowest-ranked Australian Open semi-finalist for 14 years.

Chung, ranked 58th, needed six match-points before claiming a 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 win and will face either defending champion Roger Federer or Tomas Berdych in Friday’s semi-final. 

The rising star joins Briton Kyle Edmund as the first unseeded men’s semi-finalists in Melbourne since Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2008.

His achievement comes after his monumental wins over six-time champion Novak Djokovic and world No.4 Alexander Zverev to herald his arrival to big-time tennis.

“I’m really surprised to make the semis, I beat Sascha (Zverev), Novak and other good players. I have never played in the second week at a Grand Slam,” he said.

Chung said he was inspired by Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the 2014 US Open finalist, who blazed the trail for Asian tennis.

“All Asian players look to Kei and we are trying to follow him. He’s the pride of Asian players,” he said.

Asked who he wanted to face in the semi-final, Federer or Berdych, Chung replied diplomatically with a smile: “It’s 50-50. They’re two really good players, so I don’t know who’s going to win.” – AFP

 

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