MELBOURNE, (Reuters) – Chung Hyeon turned in a relentless display of high energy tennis to stun six-times Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic 7-6(4) 7-5 7-6(3) yesterday and become the first South Korean to reach a grand slam quarter-final.
Chung, ranked 58th in the world, absorbed everything the former world number one threw at him and returned it with interest while Djokovic was hampered by the recurrence of the elbow injury that sidelined him last year.
The 21-year-old Chung will meet Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-finals after the 97th-ranked Tennessee native dispatched fifth seed Dominic Thiem in five sets to continue his dream debut run.
Defending champion Roger Federer sauntered past Hungarian Marton Fucsovics to reach the 52nd grand slam quarter-final of his career where he will meet big-serving Czech Tomas Berdych.
Women’s top seed Simona Halep shook off ankle pain to sweep past Japanese Naomi Osaka 6-3 6-2 in 79 minutes and stay in the hunt for a maiden grand slam title.
Halep will meet Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals after the Czech sixth seed rallied from a set down to see off compatriot Barbora Strycova in the day’s last match.
Former champion Angelique Kerber fell back on raw power to overcome the unorthodox game of world number 88 Hsieh Su-wei 4-6 7-5 6-2 and reach the last eight where she will meet U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys.
Czech sixth seed Pliskova fought back from a set down to beat compatriot Barbora Strycova 6-7(5) 6-3 6-2 in the day’s last match.
Djokovic spoke about the recurrence of the elbow injury that sidelined him last year after he was beaten in straight sets by South Korean Chung Hyeon.
“It’s frustrating when you have that much time and you don’t heal properly. But it is what it is. There is some kind of a reason behind all of this… Today was one of those days where, unfortunately, it was too much to deal with,” he said.
Hyeon said his dreams came true after he beat his idol Novak Djokovic to reach his first grand slam quarter-final.
“I’m just looking for Novak, Roger, Rafa. They’re all my role model, my idol. I’m just happy to play with Novak again. I’m just honoured to see him again on the tour. Today my dreams come true,” Chung said.