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Chung upsets Zverev, Halep scrapes through

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South Korea’s Hyeon Chung celebrates beating Germany’s Alexander Zverev in their men’s singles third round match on day six of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2018.

Korea’s Hyeon Chung defeated Alexander Zverev of Germany, 5-7; 6/4; 67; 6-3; 6-0 in the biggest upset in the Men’s draw while top seeded Simona Halep of Romania scraped through to victory over American Lauren Davis 6/4; 4/6; 15/13 in a battle that lasted almost four hours.

Zverev was first on service line and won the game quickly. The first point on Chung’s opening serve was a long rally, finally netted by Zverev. It was the pattern all through.

The German faced a service break in the third game and cancelled it with a service winner before clinching with an ace that was challenged unsuccessfully. From the outset, Chung’s service speeds were much lower than his opponent’s but they were well placed. The Korean held his service games on account of his feisty defence and powerful ground-strokes off both planks. Zverev powered his way game after game and was ahead 6-5. Needing to hold, Hyeon fell behind 0-40 and did not recover before conceding the set 5-7 after a long rally. Zverev took a bathroom break.

Zverev opened the second set with a 220kmh ace and clinched the game with his eighth ace. Although up 40-0, Hyeon was taken to deuce on a long rally before holding serve for 1 game apiece. The set ended in a tie break. In which Zverev lost the first point on serve but Chung held serve and conceded the third point. Two aces gave Zverev the lead 3-1 and Chung held serve for a tally of 2-4 into the changeover. Once on the other side, Zverev did not get a point before losing the breaker 7-3. Chung took a bathroom break and returned to lose the third set 6-2.

Chung won his service game to lead in the fourth set and achieved his first service break of the match to lead 2-0. He was taken to deuce in the third game, survived two break points, lost three advantage points before winning the game to lead 3-0. Down 0-40 in the fourth game, Zverev fired aces and service winners to register on score board. With Chung serving the odd games, he won the seventh and ninth to level the match at two sets apiece, at the three-hour match clock.

In the first game of the fifth set, Zverev did not register a single first serve and conceded the break with a double-fault. His opponent raced through the second game without dropping a point. When Zverev lost the first point of third game, he threw his racket on the court, in a visible sign of frustration. On the other hand, his opponent proceeded calmly to match point and delivered a service that was hit out by his disheveled opponent.

When Hyeon Chung won the maiden Next Generation Tournament in November last year, many considered it a stepping-out moment. The bespectacled player from Seoul confirmed the prediction by defeating the fourth seeded player to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

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