Australian Open 2018: Chung Hyeon beats Tennys Sandgren to reach semi-finals

Chung Hyeon
Chung Hyeon won the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in November
2018 Australian Open
Dates: 15-28 January Venue: Melbourne Park
Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online.

Chung Hyeon became South Korea's first Grand Slam semi-finalist with a straight-set win over American Tennys Sandgren at the Australian Open.

Chung, 21, won the surprise quarter-final between two unseeded players 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.

The world number 58 is the youngest Grand Slam semi-finalist for eight years, and the lowest-ranked Australian Open semi-finalist for 14 years.

He will face Roger Federer or Tomas Berdych in the last four on Friday.

Asked who he would prefer to play, a smiling Chung said: "I don't know. 50-50, whoever wins, I'm playing, I don't care."

Britain's Kyle Edmund and Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic meet in the first men's semi-final at 08:30 GMT on Thursday.

Chung had beaten fourth seed Alexander Zverev and six-time champion Novak Djokovic en route to the last eight, and found himself the favourite in his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

Across the net he faced an even more unlikely quarter-finalist in Sandgren, the 26-year-old world number 97 who had never won a Grand Slam match before Melbourne.

Tennys Sandgren
Tennys Sandgren had lost in qualifying in four previous visits to the Australian Open before this year

The pair had played in Auckland earlier this month, with Chung coming through in three sets, and he took charge once again.

After breaking serve immediately he served his way through the first set and into a 2-0 lead early in the second.

Sandgren, who has attracted as much attention for his social media presence as his tennis in recent days, appeared to be struggling but he staged an impressive comeback to lead 5-3 and serve for the set.

He could not close it out, however, a forehand into the net drawing Chung back to 5-5 and the Korean went on to edge the tie-break as he dictated with his forehand.

Chung won a lengthy game to break for 3-1 in the third set and secured the win after an entertaining final game in which he let a 40-0 lead slip, as Sandgren came up with some astounding reflex volleys.

Asked about that final game, Chung joked: "In 40-0 I was starting to think of what to do at the ceremony."

Follow tennis with the BBC
Alerts: Tennis news sent to your phone

Top Stories