Novak Djokovic won his first major title in 2008 at the Australian Open. Novak has always loved playing in Australia and has only lost three of his 80 matches since 2011! Djokovic has won 34 previous meetings in Australia and the last player to beat him was Heon Chung.
Novak and Hyeon met in the fourth round of the 2018 Australian Open, and the Korean won 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 in three hours and 21 minutes. It was Hyeon’s eighth major event in his career as he performed well and became the first player from his country to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam.
Chung dominated Djokovic physically and mentally, keeping his composure at crucial moments to secure the best win of his career. Djokovic will be competing for the first time since Wimbledon 2017 and his elbow has been bothering him.
Novak hit two aces and nine double faults, lost serve six times and wasted 14 of 19 break opportunities!
Novak Djokovic has not lost a match in Australia since 2019.
The Rod Laver Arena crowd was treated to stunning rallies from the baseline, with both players covering the court beautifully and hitting balls from both wings to create open space and put the ball beyond the opponent’s reach.
Novak got a taste of his own recipe as Chung displayed incredible speed, flexibility, pitch control and delivery. The youngster refused to back down at crucial moments and overcame his experienced rival to advance to the quarter-finals.
Having been beaten by Denis Istom in the second round 12 months earlier, Novak suffered his second straight opening defeat in the first major of the season.
Heon mixed up his game beautifully. He defended very precisely and didn’t hesitate to go forward or win when he was in the right place.
Novak did everything he could to extend the match and stay in contention for at least another set. However, he failed to find a way to break Chung’s resistance. Also, his struggling elbow was back there, preventing him from playing his best tennis and requiring treatment.
Djokovic missed some routine shots at crucial moments. Five years later, Novak has not suffered another loss in Australia, where he has extended his incredible streak by winning 34 consecutive matches.
Novak will be favorite to win his tenth Australian Open title in three weeks, hungry to chase the trophy after missing out on the event in 2022.
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