Novak Djokovic looks to continue his impressive form in the night session on Day 8 of the Australian Open but will have a tough task against a rising Hyeon Chung. A blockbuster matchup with Alexander Zverev was denied due to Chung although the Korean is more the capable of going toe-to-toe with Djokovic himself.
In losing in 5 sets to Chung, Zverev continued his poor run at slams but was full of praise for his Korean opponent. “This was a top-10 level match from the start till the end of the fourth set, and for him until the end. You know, rankings sometimes lie. The way he was playing, it was definitely not whatever he is ranked.” he said. Chung weathered some big serving from Zverev, including 21 faults, before dominating the final set without the loss of a game. However, the Next Gen champion will remain outside the top 50 if he loses this match and will need a semi final to better his career high of 44.
Chung was honest in his admiration for the six time Australian Open champ when it came to the idea of a potential match with him. “If he win tonight, I have one more chance to play with a great player in the world. If I play Novak again, I’m just happy to share the court with Novak.” he said. Novak has had to deal with the heat and minor injury niggles in his tournament so far but there doesn’t look to be much wrong with his game so far, although there hasn’t been much in the way of a challenge yet.
“I have to be more humble this time with my expectations because I haven’t played for six months. But I’m very pleased with where my game is at the moment.” he said. Chung frustrated Zverev in the previous round but Djokovic is far more aligned with the style that Chung plays so it may be down to his body holds up, having had a medical timeout in the previous round against Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in 4 sets