Hyeon Chung Upsets Novak Djokovic at Australian Open, Dominic Thiem Also Falls, Roger Federer Advances
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(January 22, 2018) It was a day of two major upsets on the men’s side of the Australian Open on Monday. Six-time champion and 14th seed Novak Djokovic was upset in straight sets by Hyeon Chung, while American Tennys Sandgren stunned No. 5 Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open.
Chung, ranked 58th in the world became the first Korean to reach the quarterfinals of a major when he beat his idol, six-time Melbourne winner, 14th seed Novak Djokovic 7-6 (4), 7-5, 7-6 (3). It was the first time in eleven years that the Serb lost in straight set at the Australian Open.
Chung will be playing another unseeded player for a chance to reach the semifinals, No. 97 Tennys Sandgren. The American upended Thiem 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (7), 6-3 in his three-hour, 54-minute fourth-round match.
Chung came out firing, he hit 47 winners in the three-hour and 30 minute match.
Djokovic, who is back on the tour since taking time off to heal an injured elbow, needed a medical timeout in the second set to tend to his elbow.
“When I’m young, I’m just trying to copy Novak because he’s my idol,” Chung said after the match. “I can’t believe this tonight. Dreams come true tonight.”
“Congratulations to Chung and his team,” Djokovic said to media. “Amazing. Amazing performance. He was a better player on the court tonight. He deserved to win, no question about it.
“Whenever he was in trouble, he came up with some unbelievable shots, passing shots. Just from the back of the court, you know, he was like a wall.
“It’s impressive. I wish him all the best.”
“We do play very similar,” Djokovic continued. “He definitely has the game to be a top-10 player, without a doubt. How far he can go, that depends on him. Obviously, I respect him a lot because he’s a hard worker, he’s disciplined, he’s a nice guy, he’s quiet. You can see that he cares about his career and his performances. So I’m sure that he’s going to get some really good results in the future.”
Djokovic was asked about his health in his news conference: “Yeah, it’s not great. Unfortunately, it’s not great. Kind of end of the first set it started hurting more. So, yeah, I had to deal with it till the end of the match.
“First of all, I have to say I’m very grateful I had the chance to play. I didn’t know if I’m going to play or not. So I played four matches here. It was a good tournament, of course. I mean, it’s disappointing to go out in the fourth round. The circumstances are such. I have to accept it. That’s the reality.
“It’s frustrating, of course, 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. I’m just trying my best obviously because I love this sport. I enjoy training. I enjoy getting myself better, hoping that I can get better, perform and compete.
“Today was one of those days where, unfortunately, it was too much to deal with.”
“I had a terrible start. Double break down, managed to come back. Probably the first set tiebreaker, he just was mentally tough and patient. The second set also he was up. I think the entire match I was trying to come back and chase him. He was always ahead.”
“Today victory for my country, I think tennis coming up after this tonight, Chung said to media.
“I play tennis. I’m just looking for Novak, Roger (Federer), Rafa(Nadal). They’re all my role model, my idol. I’m just happy to play with Novak again. I’m just honored to see him again on the tour. Today my dreams come true.”
Chung on playing Sandgren next: “He’s really good player. I think he make first quarterfinal, same like me. I’m just ready for him. I have to do good recovery first.”
“I played him before one time. We know how to play each other. I have to be ready.”
Sandgren reached the final eight in his main-draw debut in Melbourne, only the second man to do it in 20 years. He’s taken down two top ten seeds to do it – No. 9 Stan Wawrinka and No. 5 Dominic Thiem.
“I don’t know if this is a dream or not, Sandgren said on court after the match, all you guys are here, so maybe it’s not,”
“I’m not in my underwear, so maybe it’s not a dream,” said the 26-year-old from Tennessee.
Defending champion Roger Federer reached Australian Open quarterfinals for the 14th time, beating Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Federer will play Tomas Berdych in the next round.
Tomas Berdych reached the Australian Open quarterfinals for the seventh time after a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over Fabio Fognini.
More to follow…