Chung stuns Djokovic; Federer, Halep, Kerber in QFs
AGENCIES MELBOURNE, 22nd Jan:
South Korean star Chung Hyeon dumped six-time champion Novak Djokovic out of the Australian Open on Monday in a sensational fourth round upset.
The 21-year-old beat the battle-weary Serb, who was clearly in pain as he stretched for balls, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) in 3hr 21 min in a night match on Rod Laver Arena.
Chung, the first South Korean man to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open, will face American bolter Tennys Sandgren in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Two years ago Djokovic outclassed Chung in straight sets in the opening round of the Australian Open, but the South Korean spectacularly reversed the result with three hard-fought sets against the wounded Serb in the fourth round.
Djokovic, who sought treatment for his troublesome right elbow and an apparent hip injury when stretching for a ball, battled through in great discomfort, as Chung stayed composed and mentally tough to claim his biggest win.
Djokovic showed the effects of playing four rounds in his first tournament back after six months out since Wimbledon with elbow trouble.
He made a horror start to the match with two double faults in each of his two opening service games for a double break.
The six-time Melbourne winner clawed back to 5-5, but he called for the trainer to treat his right elbow early in the second set.
It got worse for the Serb former world No 1 as he screamed in agony stretching for a point, but he gingerly carried on with the signs of wear and tear plainly visible.
Djokovic attempted to shorten the points and avoid long tiring rallies given his battle-weary condition as Chung continued to pull ahead.
Fast-improving Chung won the Next Gen ATP Finals last November which featured fellow young guns Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Denis Shapovalov.
He dropped serve to start the third set but Djokovic gave the serve straight back and the South Korean got another break to go ahead 3-1.
But Djokovic bravely dug in and again broke back and took the set to a tiebreaker where Chung won some outstanding points to hold three match points.
Djokovic's resistance was finally over when he sent a backhand wide.
Roger Federer reached the Australian Open quarterfinals for the 14th time on Monday but the defending champion did not have everything his own way against 80th-ranked Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.
The 36-year-old Swiss was not at his dazzling best on a sun-bathed Rod Laver Arena but claimed a 6-4 7-6(3) 6-2 to set up a quarterfinal against Czech Tomas Berdych.
Fucsovics had never won a main draw grand slam match before arriving in Melbourne but after winning three rounds the 25-year-old produced a skilful and confident performance to keep second seed Federer on his toes for two sets.
There were no real alarms for the Swiss though and he raced away to victory in the third set.
Angelique Kerber kept her hopes of a second Australian Open title alive with a battling come-from-behind 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory against Taiwan's tenacious Hsieh Su-wei in the fourth round on Monday.
World No 1 Simona Halep eased into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open Monday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over unseeded Naomi Osaka of Japan in 81 minutes.
Halep was delighted to be on court for 143 minutes less than her previous match against Lauren Davis, which at 3hr 44min was the longest of the tournament.
The big-hitting Osaka had her chances, notably in the fifth game of the first set when she squandered five points to break the Halep serve. The Romanian compounded Osaka's disappointment immediately with a break of her own.
She served out to take the set in 42 minutes and immediately broke the Japanese player again to start the second.
The players matched each other with 22 winners apiece but Osaka's 31 unforced errors ultimately proved her downfall against the consistent Halep.
The top seed is guaranteed to meet a Czech opponent for a place in the semifinals, either sixth seed Karolina Pliskova or Barbora Strycova, the 20th seed, who play later.