Australian Open: Hyeon Chung continues hot run, stuns Djokovic

Hyeon Chung caused the biggest upset of the tournament by packing off Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the fourth round of Australian Open on Monday.

Hyeon Chung halted Djokovic's run at the Australian Open on Monday.   -  AP

Hyeon Chung registered the biggest win of his career by packing off Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the fourth round of Australian Open on Monday. The Korean won 7-6(4), 7-5, 7-6(3) to enter the quarterfinals in the first Grand Slam of the year.

Hyeon Chung, the winner of 2017 Gen Next ATP Finals, was in sublime form and showed high intensity to outsmart Djokovic with his own style of play.

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The Serbian, who had also struggled with his hip in the third round, was on the back foot from the off and failed to claw back the first set before suffering further at the start of the second.

Djokovic's fighting spirit never wavered, but he could not shake off NextGen champion Chung, who was unrelenting en route to claiming the biggest scalp of his career.

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Chung – the first Korean male or female to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal – had said prior to the match that he would "just be happy to share the court with Novak", but he was far from starstruck and an outstanding performance made him a deserved winner - albeit Djokovic, who missed six months before returning to play in Melbourne, was undoubtedly hindered by his injury. 

The 21-year-old will now face another shock quarterfinalist in Tennys Sandgren on Wednesday.

A series of unforced errors, including numerous double faults, allowed Chung to break Djokovic's serve twice and move 4-0 up in the first set, before the former world number one came roaring back.

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Three successive games piled the pressure on Chung and errors crept into the youngster's play as he served for the set, but he battled through to the tie-break and recovered his momentum to take the set.

Novak Djokovic gestures during his fourth round match against Hyeon Chung.   -  AP

 

It was clear that Djokovic, wearing a protective sleeve on his right arm, was struggling with his elbow as he repeatedly failed to hold serve and he received treatment before the second set.

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Chung held his nerve in a gruelling first game and broke the 14th seed en route to building a 3-0 lead.

As in the first set, Djokovic's fighting spirit came to the fore as he drew level, but Chung again showed great resolve and he moved two sets ahead when a stunning rally ended with a groaning Djokovic finding the net.

A topsy-turvy third set followed, bringing the crowd to its feet as four of the first five service games were broken to leave the pair neck and neck.

 

Both players missed big opportunities to then take control of proceedings and a number of poorly telegraphed drop shots from the world number 58 ensured Djokovic remained in the match.

But Chung kicked off the tie-break with two superb points and, although again there was a strong response, he continued to confound Djokovic with some astounding returns to seal a huge win.