Hyeon Chung has booked his spot in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open after defeating the former champion and 14th seed Novak Djokovic. Chung has been the talk of the town notching up some impressive wins already at this years Open, but this 7-6(4), 7-5, 7-6(3) win over the Serbian is a class above the rest.
The two faced off in the first-round of the 2016 Australian Open with Djokovic prevailing in a comfortable three sets. This year, the pair met in the fourth-round with the stakes and pressure being much higher for both players.
Djokovic started slowly dropping two games on serve to give Chung a 4-0 lead in the initial stages of the match. But the former World No.1 fought back and forced a first set tiebreak. The South Korean regained momentum and produced some incredible shots to capture the opening set 7-6(4).
During the sit down Djokovic received treatment on his troubled right elbow. However, this treatment seemed to have little effect as the Serbian appeared to be in tremendous pain throughout the second set. Chung, realising his opponent’s discomfort, started to make Djokovic stretch, aggravating the already injured elbow. The 21-year-old raced to an early lead, up 4-1, before Djokovic again found a way back into the set. But the former champion’s serving buckled under pressure and at 5-6 down, and Chung was handed the second set.
The rising star was full of confidence and sustained his great play in the third set, continuously putting pressure on his more experienced opponent. Chung once again found himself leading early in the set, but the resurgent Djokovic was not done fighting. The Serbian was able to force a third set tiebreak after trailing late in the set. Chung stood strong in the breaker and looked extremely composed en route to capturing the third set and the match against his idol.
Chung will now play Tennys Sandgren for a spot in the semi-finals. Sandgren triumphed over the 5th seeded Thiem in a gruelling five set encounter. Both players have caused major upsets throughout this years Australian Open and have truly earned their places in the final eight.