Sports

Federer reaches seventh Australian Open final as Chung retires

Federer reaches seventh Australian Open final as Chung retires

The 21-year-old South Korean left the court early, saying he was too injured to continue the match after succumbing to a blister on the sole of his right foot.

He was reminded of the disparity between them at Wimbledon previous year, when Federer toyed with him, ruthlessly exploiting his poor movement on blistered feet to win the final in an hour and 41 minutes.

Hyeon Chung may have limped out of this year's Australian Open, but his upbeat mood made clear he firmly believes he'll be a contender at another major very soon.

Swiss Federer, who is chasing his 20th grand slam, won the first set 6-1 and was leading 5-2 in the second.

Defending champion Roger Federer plays sixth seeded Marin Cilic on Sunday in the final of the year's first Grand Slam.

It's been that kind of week at Melbourne Park in the men's draw: World No. 1 Rafael Nadal retired in the quarterfinals against Marin Cilic with a hip injury in a fifth set and Kyle Edmund - like Chung a young, maiden grand slam semifinalist - was hindered physically in his semifinal defeat Thursday to Cilic.

Play resumed with Chung taking just his third game of the contest, before the Federer express again picked up pace, through a combination of again forcing errors, and the sheer power of the Swiss' backhand.

Chung managed to win one more game but threw in the towel as the match ended on a low note for South Korea, but for Federer there is only highlights as he reaches his latest Grand final without dropping a set. "Over the last few days, it was blister under blister under blister", said Chung at his post-match press conference.




Nicknamed "The Professor" due to his trademark thick white-rimmed glasses, Chung said he retired because his blisters were "red raw". But he has a great composure and I think we're going to see a lot more for him, top 10 for sure. But I played a good match. It is just that Cilic has played way more service games in the 17 hours and three minutes he has spent on court in reaching the final.

"I played really good in the last two weeks", said Chung. "And I hope I can read his serve".

"I'm playing much, much more aggressive", Cilic said. I can see why he beat the likes of Novak and Sascha (Zverev) and all the others this week and in the past.

"This one feels bittersweet - I'm happy to be in the finals, but not like this".

It's not the first time Federer, who is hunting his 20th Grand Slam title, has lost his cool Down Under. To get to know the man behind the tennis player, I guess, even though I got to know him better through the Laver Cup and so forth'.

"Clearly I was a bit lucky against [Tomas] Berdych in that first set".

But he said, "I think he's going to have a lot of success. Please understand. I wish all the best luck for @rogerfederer in the finals".


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