Chung Hyeon: Five things about Asia’s newest tennis star

Hyeon Chung became the talk of the Australian Open on Monday after he pulled off a stunning straights sets upset of six-time champion Novak Djokovic in their last-16 tie.

Not many people had even heard of young player from Suwon in South Korea before his famous win, let alone thought he was capable of upsetting one of the game’s legends.

But win he did, leaving many tennis fans with lots of questions about one of tennis’ rising stars.

In an attempt to answer those questions, FOX Sports Asia gives you the lowdown on Asia’s newest tennis sensation.

1. He’s from a tennis family
Chung’s father was a tennis player and now works as a coach, while his older brother also plays. The 21-year old started playing tennis at six and spent two years at the Nick Bollettieri academy in Florida. He’s not even that famous in Korea as tennis isn’t popular, but he says people sometimes ask him for an autograph when he’s practising.

2. Chung is the first Korean to reach a grand slam quarter-final
The previous best results by Koreans at majors were Hyung Taik Lee and Duk Hee Lee, who reached the last 16 at the US Open men’s singles in 2000 and 2007, and the women’s singles at the 1981 US Open respectively.

3. He handed his childhood idol his worst loss in 11 years.
The last time Djokovic lost in three sets at the Australian Open was back in 2007 when Roger Federer defeated him 6-2, 7-5, 6-3. Chung, who idolised the Serb as a youngster for his “mental strength,” also played the Serb in the first round of the Australian Open two years ago where he lost in straight sets.

4. He’s won once on the tour.
Chung’s only title to date was at last year’s ATP Next Generation Finals in Italy where he beat Andrei Rublev of Russia in four sets. His current world ranking is 58.

5. The professor graduates
Nicknamed “the professor” as he is one of the few players on tour to wear glasses, Chung was voted the “Most Improved Player of the Year” by his fellow players at the annual Association of Tennis Professionals awards after climbing 122 places in the world rankings. After his performances at Melbourne he is sure to climb a few more.

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