South Korea’s Chung Hyeon has beaten six-times Australian Open champion, Novak Djokovic 7-6(4) 7-5 7-6(3) on Monday during the Australian Open, making Chung Hyeon the first South Korean to reach a grand slam quarter-final where he will face American Tennys Sandgren.
Tellingly, Chung won 34 of the 54 rallies that exceeded nine strokes, most memorably when he slid at full-stretch to hook a forehand winner past his opponent to take a 5-3 lead in the third set tiebreak.
It proved the final straw for a weary Djokovic who netted a forehand return on the next point and then shunted a backhand into the tramlines after yet more Chung defiance.
The ice-cool Chung barely celebrated, but after being warmly congratulated by Djokovic he walked across to milk the applause from the sell-out crowd, including a sizeable Korean contingent.
To his credit Djokovic, who again wore a compression sleeve on his playing arm to protect the elbow that forced him off Tour last year and was clearly causing discomfort, fought tenaciously like the great champion he is.