Hyeon Chung revelled in beating his "idol" at the Australian Open after producing an outstanding display to eliminate six-time champion Novak Djokovic.
Chung, the winner of last year's Next Gen ATP Finals, triumphed 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 7-6 (7-3) in a thrilling tie on Rod Laver Arena to become the first Korean quarter-finalist at a grand slam.
While Djokovic appeared troubled by the elbow injury that had kept him out for six months prior to this tournament, there was still much to admire in Chung's performance as the 21-year-old rose to the occasion in the biggest match of his career to date.
"I don't know [how I won]," said the victor in an on-court interview. "I'm really just happy.
"I really didn't know I was going to win tonight, I'm just honoured to play with Novak again. I'm happy to see him on the tour."
When it was put to Chung that some of his play was similar to that produced by Djokovic over the years, the world number 58 replied: "When I'm young, I'm just trying to copy Novak because he's my idol.
"I can't believe this. Dreams came true tonight."
Chung raised a laugh as he explained his emotions during the third set tie-breaker, which he had led 3-0 only to be pegged back to 3-3.
"I was just thinking that I'm 2-0 up in sets and if I lose, I have a chance in two more sets," said Chung with a smile.
"I was ready to play two more hours. I'm younger than Novak."
Next up for Chung is a quarter-final clash with surprise package Tennys Sandgren, with the winner likely to face reigning champion Roger Federer in the last four.
19 de agosto 2018
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