Chung Stuns Djokovic At Australian Open, Surprising Sandgren Next; Federer To Face Berdych In QF
by Staff | January 22nd, 2018, 8:08 am
  • 85 Comments

In a tournament full of surprises, Hyeon Chung may have pulled the biggest one yet, stunning 6-time champion Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-5, 7-6(3) in the Australian Open fourth round Monday night in Melbourne.

After a flurry of double faults from the No. 1, Chung burst out early on Djokovic, racing to a 4-0 lead. Djokovic, though, found the range on his serve and leveled, but errors spelled doom for the Serb in the breaker.

Chung kept pounding away in very Djokovic-like fashion in the second while Djokovic began to fade. Novak took treatment for his elbow, showed pain in stretching with his hip and overall, just looked like someone who hadn’t played in six months, which was understandable.

Chung didn’t care. He was relentless.

Chung got up in the third but just when it looked over Djokovic mounted a charge to get the break back. Djokovic appeared to be over his second set niggles, but still nowhere near his normal level.

In the end, it was Chung who got the breaker winning the last three points. The 21-year-old had just beaten No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev and now sent the Serb home yet again without a Major title. And he becomes the first Korean to ever make a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

“When i was young i am just trying to copy novak because he is my idol, I don’t know,” Chung said. “I’m just honored to play with novak again, I’m happy to see him on the tour. I can’t believe this. Dreams come true tonight.”

Meanwhile, Djokovic suffered his second straight stunning loss a year after following to the bespectacled Denis Istomin.

“I just have to congratulate the opponent tonight,” Djokovic said. “He was the better player in the decisive moments. 7-6, 7-5, 7-6, over three hours, three and a half hours, it was very long, a lot of rallies. He had to earn his victory. At least I wanted to, you know, challenge him to earn it without me handing it to him.”

The question now is, where does Djokovic go with his elbow which he says was bothering him today.

“It’s not great. Unfortunately, it’s not great,” he explained. “Kind of end of the first set it started hurting more. So, yeah, I had to deal with it till the end of the match.

“I have to reassess everything with my team, medical team, coaches and everybody, scan it, see what the situation is like. Last couple weeks I played a lot of tennis. Let’s see what’s happening inside.”

Djokovic finished with 9 doubles faults, 36 winners, 57 unforced and was just 5/19 on break points. Chung connected on 47 winners to 37 unforced and was 6/10 on his break opportunities.

On Wednesday, the 58th-ranked Chung will meet the 97th-ranked Tennys Sangren in one of the most improbable Grand Slam quarterfinals in recent memory.

The 26-year-old Sangren kept his dream run going ousting the No. 5 Dominic Thiem in five sets 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-7(7), 6-3 in 3 hours, 54 minutes.

Coming into the Australian Open, Sandgren had never won a Grand Slam match and had just two career tour-level wins. But now he’s beaten Top 10ers in Stan Wawrinka and now Thiem.

Earlier in the day, Roger Federer rolled into his 14th Australian Open quarterfinal ending the hopes of Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 7-6, 6-2.

Federer, who has won his last 11 in Melbourne, now faces familiar foe Tomas Berdych who beat Fabio Fognini in straight sets. Federer leads Berdych 19-6 with three wins last year including at the Australian Open.

“Against Tomas sometimes in the past when I did play well things went my way,” Federer said. “Same for him when he beat me on those occasions, he also played extremely well.

“I don’t remember what I thought was going to happen in the third round. I just remember looking at the draw and thinking what a horrid draw it is. But, okay, if I lose third, fourth, or quarters, doesn’t really matter because it’s all about the same as long as I get home injury-free and I’ll be happy.

“I’m looking forward to play against him. He seems in good shape, and I’m happy he’s over his back issues that he also had at the end of last year. That’s a good thing.”


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85 Comments for Chung Stuns Djokovic At Australian Open, Surprising Sandgren Next; Federer To Face Berdych In QF

Nits Says:

Surprise quarterfinalists beauty of tennis.When it’s my day it’s my day! Roger’s quarterfinal is equivalent to a whosever wins that most likely will win semifinals easily


Humble Rafa Says:

Roger’s quarterfinal is equivalent to a whosever wins that most likely will win semifinals easily

You are so smart. Your parents must be proud, for sure. Do you work at it or does it come naturally.


Rick Says:

Easy draw for Federina. Not having to play the top 15 guys. What a fluke!


BBB Says:

If the answer is going to be surgery, I hope he gets it over with soon….


Rick Says:

I like Djokovic, but Chung deserves the credits for winning. You guys are pathetic.


Rick Says:

Nole wasn’t playing bad. But the balls kept coming back. And made Djokovic so impatient tried to go for winners and all that. Chung has great forehand and is fast on the court.


Rick Says:

What a joke for Federina. Into the last eight, but playing some dodgy player. So pathetic.


Van Persie Says:

^^ Lol: Good morning, America :)


Rick Says:

If Federina is lucky to gets into the semi? Who would he plays world number 58 or 97? LOL


skeezer Says:

And Mr. Lucky rick is back with Fed talk. Same posts, different day.
Fed is through, and Fucs was a admirable opponet. Beat Querry, who has beaten Nadal. But you didn’t know that, right?
—-
Mr. Tennys deserves more talk here with his AO run this year. Amazing Cinderella story. Beats Wawa and Theim and now is in the qtrs of a Slam,
—-
Why play? I asked this question when Novak reported his elbow was not 100% prior ro his first match here at AO. Now, if he needs surgery, who knows his future. He could have very well jeapordized it all.
Congrats to Chung btw, he played fantastic.


Nits Says:

@ Humble ha ha


StarvingActor Says:

Wow, Chung! Def the last 2-3 months has been the most impressive next-GEN player. Too bad for Novak. Wonder if he came back too early. Do hope he comes back fully healed.

Roger better be on his game. Berdych looking good. Hopefully the match with Fucsovics was a good primer.


Daniel Says:

To me at this points either is a Fedal final or both lose before finals so we’ll have a new AO winner.


BBB Says:

skeezer, you don’t know anything about Djokovic’s elbow, particularly whether playing would have done permanent damage. It’s odd that you feel the need to speculate, much less catastrophize.


RZ Says:

Ugh, woke up to the news that Thiem lost in 5. He simply cannot go around losing to guys ranked so low. At least he didn’t lose while ahead or I would be super worried about his psyche in 5 setters.


RZ Says:

Kimberly has retaken the lead in the Racquet Bracket (she might have done so in the previous round – sorry I was off the grid over the weekend). But watch out for Margot who has moved into 2nd place. She worked some of her Welsh witch magic and correctly chose Chung over Djokovic in the 4th round.


skeezer Says:

BBB
Just going by what he said. By his own admission, it wasn’t 100% coming in, not fully healed. That elbow has kept him out for how long? Just my imo but I thought from his interview prior to playing he should have not played, gave it some more time. Now you get this result. Otherwise yes, it is not my elbow, he can do with it whatever he wants.
As for as “speculating” I”d look around and read posts on this site and tell me there isn’t a lot of “speculating” done here. Its what they do.
Another btw, how do you know I don’t know anything about a tennis players elbow? You’re not speculating are you ;)


BBB Says:

I expect more from you than others :-)

Fair enough. You don’t know nothing about his elbow. You know it hurts. However, it would surprise me if he risked permanent damage, as opposed to simply playing when something is less than fully healed, which many players do (e.g., Halep and her ankle). The catastrophizing risks coming across as wishful thinking.


Nits Says:

It reminded me of Nadal’s loss to Djokovic in French Open. A glorious champion of French open losing because of his mental issues. Same way today I felt bad for Djokovic. Although he is not 100% fit first tournament. Still felt really bad for him. Struggle never leaves you. Nadal has suffered a lot too so as others .It’s Djokovic tough path now to reclaim his glory.


skeezer Says:

BBB,
“I expect more from you than others :-)”
Noted :-)


Tennis Stud Says:

Djokovic must have felt looking himself in the mirror on a lot of points. Chung was super flexible and athletic, especially when pulled off the doubles alley on the backhand side. He got so many of those balls back and passed Djokovic on some of them splendidly.


lylenubbins Says:

Yay me, I actually thought Chung would take out Novak. Not happy that his elbow is sore though.


Willow Says:

He was still suffering with an elbow injury, im not really surprised he lost, he wasnt ready to play and shouldnt have, but i guess its his choice, i actually picked him to lose to Zverev, sorry to him and his fans, injuries are a bummer for any player, wish him well for the rest of the year, just seen the highlights looks like Chung played amazing ….


BBB Says:

Dunno. He’s the best judge of whether he should have played the tournament or not. He’s got a good team with him. It sounds like he’s reluctant to have surgery but that surgery is an option – perhaps this will help him decide how to proceed.

Serena’s view is that there’s no point in playing if she’s not going to win the whole thing. I’m not sure that’s true for everyone else.


Margot Says:

Johnny Mac suggested there might have been sponsorship pressure on him to play. Wog Boy might know if that’s Mac spinning or truthing.
I hope it’s not true, horrible if it is.


Willow Says:

BBB i know, thats JMO though ….


Wog Boy Says:

Thank you Staff, this tells the story:

“Djokovic finished with 9 doubles faults, 36 winners, 57 unforced and was just 5/19 on break points. Chung connected on 47 winners to 37 unforced and was 6/10 on his break opportunities.”

How often Nole breaks somebody five times in three sets end ends up second best?
Even after going 0:4 in first set he had chance to close that set before TB. Chung started playing unbelievable tennis midway through the second set, after Mole build Chung’s confidens with his medoicre play, but even with that play it takes Chung’s best performance to beat this Nole. His side to side movement and shots on the stretch were out of this world, yet Nole kept breaking him back just shank left and right, missing sitters, that tell a lot about Nole’s physical and mental state.
Agassi’s mad face towards the end told is that Nole hasn’t played whatever tactic was agreed prior match and Nole just was doing excatly what he said after the match, making Chung esrn his win.
If Chung is to play 36 years old it will be 3:0 for 36 years old. He won’t let Chung getaway with mediocre serving and same forward movment, he won’t give him sidway balls to chase.
As for Nole this result might actually save his career, can imagine him playing next 2-3 rounds in this physical and mental state?!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Chung has a low ranking, but we knew he was on his way to being a star. Like Shapovalov or Rublev’s big wins, its not a total freak upset.

For Novak, its hard to test tendonitis without risk. If that amount of time off wasn’t enough, this could be very bad news.

It is true, Fed’s had a lucky path . But that’s not exactly something to get angry at him for. It happens. All the stars have had lucky paths open up in their careers. Its an opportunity – I hope he grabs it. I still hope for a final with Rafa. Whoever wins that will have earned the trophy the hard way, regardless of their earlier rounds.


Wog Boy Says:

Sorry for the typos, but get what I mean, I am half a sleep at Sydney airport waiting for Melbourne flight.


BBB Says:

Understood, Willow.

TV, I’m glad to hear from you. A balanced perspective.

Is it clear that it’s tendonitis? I didn’t think he’d disclosed the problem. They’ve flagged surgery as a potential remedy – does surgery do anything for tendonitis?


Wog Boy Says:

Margot, I don’t believe his team would let him do that,, neither of them is in need of money or glory, but you never know.


Willow Says:

Mole lol ….


Willow Says:

Great post from Tennis Vagabond, now theres a guy that does long posts that are worth reading, miss MMTs posts too where is he ?


Wog Boy Says:

BBB,
My experience with shoulder tendonitis is that surgery is 50:50, it wasn’t sport related, but work related. I had best shoulder specialist who adviced me that he can operate but it is 50:50 chance of success and 6 to 12 months out of action. I also would have to change my work habits and posture. I coludnt aford to be so long out of action so I made a changes in my work habits and it got better, but it took two years for me to start to move my arm freely, yet never returned to 100%, it is around 80%.


Margot Says:

Wog Boy @2.35. Cheers. Hope you’re right.


BBB Says:

WB, I’m sorry to hear that. What can the surgery do for something that’s inflamed? That’s the part I’m confused about.


Wog Boy Says:

Margot,
I am right, just badly need good sleep.

BBB,
No need to be sorry, I am more than happy with outcome, at one stage I couldn’t lift my arm above shoulder level, also changing my work habits and slowing down gave me more family time and being with a kids that I almost missed them growing up due my workload, that was blessing and irreplaceable, I am grateful and thankful to my tendonitis, I really am, 80% mobility at my age is more than enough…and gives lot of excuses when it comes to garden work which I hate;)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Thanks Willow. Good luck for Rafa!


Wog Boy Says:

And for all Aussies and others I will choose this place to advertise my shoulder specialist Dr John Best because is really the best, and has healing power with his health advices, no religion ones.

http://www.orthosports.com.au/content_common/pg-john-best.seo


Wog Boy Says:

Nole, if you reading this, give him a call.


Jenny Shekersavva Says:

sorry to hear of others who had problems with tendinitis five years ago I had an operation on my shoulder for three tendons five hour operation and three months physiotherapy I am a 100 percent I am now 73 so I am sure athletes who have a problem aren’t going to the right doctor.


j-kath Says:

Wogboy: Dr. John Best…ok. Not Andy’s Aussie surgeon…for whom you also had respect..(think he was an older guy)?

Tennis Vagabond: Very fair comments.


FedExpress Says:

Tomorrow we will know where Nadal’s game actually is. Dont think his knee problems are completly overcome.


Willow Says:

Your hoping Fedexpress ….


Wog Boy Says:

JK,
Andy’s one is in Melbourne, I couldn’t afford that one;)


j-kath Says:

Wog Boy: Nole could afford that one. Who would you go to if money was not an issue?


skeezer Says:

“Coming into the Australian Open, Sandgren had never won a Grand Slam match and had just two career tour-level wins. But now he’s beaten Top 10ers in Stan Wawrinka and now Thiem.”

Had a chance to watch the Theim match. The guy played amazing, sometimes goofy tennis. Was entertaining for sure.


J.S. Says:

WogBoy,
Hope all is okay and you obviously are not staying in Melbourne….I know you were looking forward to it! Glad you got to see Djokic last week :)

RAFA – “IF” he get’s past Cilic he still has an uphill battle, will probably face Dimitrov – tough schedule and will be exhausted if he gets past both!

FEDERER – Berdych doesn’t win this match, Fed is thru to finals and not tired!

Sandevel/Chung – Happy for both and lovely stories about them, sort of refreashing they have made for some much needed “new” talk. It should be interesting to see who wins that match. But, I agree w/ WB either Berdych or Fed will beat them! Both had grueling matches in the heat, so hats off to them!

WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK OF THE 8 LEFT??
Peace my friends!


Tennisfansince1976 Says:

@BBB you cannot be serious. Thie breakdown of this blog in the 10 or so yearsvi’ve Been on it has been about 30% speculation, 30% gossip, 30% Fed/Nadal/Nole flame wars and 10% information.


AndyMira Says:

Yeah agree with J.S…I’m so glad WB,VP & other 1st class Nole fans be able to enjoy him even for the short of time…

Even tho i’m very sad he lost..but i think he needs this lost,so he can go home & concentrate to heal himself completely..

All the best for u Nole…


Daniel Says:

J. S, I think Chung wins that QF hands down. Unless he is feeling the effort of playing 5 Slams matches for the first time. But I think as he is young he won’t feel it much. Probably hyped up and a potential semis after his NextGen title last year.

Eventually this gen will rule tennis: Zverev, Thiem, Shapovalov, Rublev, Chung, Coric, Kokkinakins, Kyrgios and a few others. The Dimi generation is gone, maybe him can get a few Slams a la Safin, but can’t see him dominating for long.

Fed has max this year and next with top 5 level tennis. If he is around in 2020 a top 10 wild be great result. Than 39-40 retiring.

Nadal, Djoko and Murray may have 2-4 more years of top level, will see. All depending on their lingering issues which blow up when they turned 30.


skeezer Says:

TF76,
Truth!


J.S. Says:

Daniel, What do you think about Nadal/Cilic and Dimitrov/Edmond?

Chung is fun to watch – it appears out of NextGen players he is easy to root for, just a nice kid on/off court!


Daniel Says:

Nada and Dimi semis.

Maybe Cilil can take 1 set and play another close, but he won win it. The last time (and only) he beat Nadal was in 2009. To have an small chance he would have to win first set. Cilic is not constancy, he always have a bad service game and Nadal would break him. He would have to be sharp to also break Nadal otherwise pretty straight win for Nadal me thinks. That 2014 in the zone last 3 rounds were never replicated by him.

Dimi is playing better each round and he knows he is heavy favorite now. Can’t see him letting this chance by. He is now more mature and mentally strong in later rounds.


J.S. Says:

Thanks Daniel,
Dimi/Edmond should be fun to watch…start time is starting now!

It’s been a crazy Australian Open!

Wonder if Chung will have Korean Media fly in now that he has made it to QF? Commentators were talking about how that works, it was very interesting!


J.S. Says:

Who is watching Dimitrov/Edmund? Edmund is hammering Dimi backhand, Edmund has 1st break! I am sure lots of nerves though!

Still Early!


RZ Says:

J.S., I watched the 2nd set but will be tunimg out soon. Upside for Edmund is that he has been doing really well here yet still has a lot of room for improvement


Margot Says:

OMG! Johnny Mac was singing Kyle’s praises yesterday and I couldn’t quite believe it and I still can’t quite believe it….
RZ: Thiem looked fine, even standing inside the baseline…Eek! Just beaten by someone playing with nothing to lose and having a really incredible serving day.


J.S. Says:

Margot….
Johnny Mac was singing Edmund’s praises yesterday? WOW! Him and Fowler are relentless tonight! – I have to mute them…..
Did you hear them talking about Rafa and Federer? They aren’t even playing, give it a rest, boys!

This match is crazy! I think Dimitrov might break back in the 4th – my head is spinning, no clue who will win?? HAHA!


Van Persie Says:

Was able to watch the highlights from Djoko- Chung match, and Chug’s on court interview afterwards. I should watch the entire match this weekend.
Chung is such a modest and talented young man, no one single sign of arrogance from his side, he got me as his fan!


Van Persie Says:

Just see now Kyle might surprise us today. Saw something from the beginning of the match. He’s not paying bad at all!!


J.S. Says:

Van Persie!

I 100% agree with you – the post match interview Chung won many fans, how could you not appreciate this wonderful kid?
His bow to his box after the win shows all the discipline and culture that has made him that way :)


Willow Says:

The Dimitrov / Edmund match is very entertaining, Kyles played so well, would love to see him win this match, even though i do like Grigor ….


Willow Says:

Margot are you getting behind our guy or Grigor, i know how much you like Grigor lol ?


J.S. Says:

Dimitrov is so gorgeous, if Edmund wins it will be another huge upset! But, Edmund has played SO good too!

Willow, I like both players too :)


J.S. Says:

EDMUND DID IT!!!!!! OMG!!!!
Congrats to him!

So fun to watch!


Van Persie Says:

J.S.,

Well, after all the bitter taste, which I got during this AO, because of the bad scheduling, was happy to watch this kid a bit yesterday, and had the very good feeling, that the common sense in tennis, might not be dad after all :)


Willow Says:

YAY So happy for our guy, well done Kyle, a star is born ….


Van Persie Says:

Wow, yes, Kyle did it! Congrats!


Van Persie Says:

Correction for my post on 1;37: might not be dead after all, not dad :)


Willow Says:

Tim Henman is in the crowd, very mature interview from Kyle ….


Willow Says:

Now he plays either Rafa or Cilic, still pulling for Rafa, but would root for Kyle secondary ….


J.S. Says:

haha WILLOW!

I was just thinking could we get a Edmund/Chung final?? Love me some Rafa but after all the hoopla this AO, I would embrace something new….YES, I said it!

Amazing interview from Edmund too…class act!


Willow Says:

J.S well this is sport, and i remember Leicester city winning the EPL so anything could happen, and if we got that final so be it, as i would be quite happy too, sadly i wont get to see much of Rafa / Cilic as i have to leave for work soon grr ….


Navdeep Says:

This AO is about the nexgen.Tennys( even though he is 26) then Chung and now Edmond.Maybe the changing of the guard finally happening.But their is still the two big dogs n as we know to go past them you have to go through hell. This AO is getting spicier.


Margot Says:

I am completely gobsmacked Thrilled for Kyle. Sad for Grig. That old glass jaw, I’m afraid.


J.S. Says:

WILLOW,
I am a die hard Rafa fan and will always support him, it’s how I started watching tennis. But, for the AO I would be thrilled for the others since I have not been a happy camper!

Changing of the guard? It sure is fun to see who has came thru, did anyone get their bracket right?? IF they did….I would be shocked! Love me some underdogs – especially when they are nice people


Willow Says:

J.S well my bracket crashed and burned ages ago, near the bottom as Lalaland, picked a Rafa / Zverev final, Delpo beating Fed, Zverev beating Novak, WTF was i thinking lol ?

Anyway i too love an underdog, as long as they dont beat my favorite, and this GS tourney has been full of them, still go Rafa ;-)


Willow Says:

Anyway its fantastic to see these new players stepping it up, and taking it to the top players, and really relishing the challenge ….


J.S. Says:

Willow,
My bracket crashed/burned the 1st round! It’s full of RED, LOL

Yep, I am in full agreement w/ everything you said! Can you watch Rafa/Cilic from work?


Willow Says:

J.S i wish i could watch some at work, but it wont be possible unless one of the old dears is watching it, ill just make do with teletext in their rooms, will record and hope for the best lol ….


j-kath Says:

Very Well done Kyle – hopefully you’ll get to measure yourself against Rafa rather than Cilic in the next round.


RZ Says:

Well done Kyle! Been playing so well and yet there is a lot that can be improved. In other words, the future is bright!


Tony N Says:

Here’s my alternative view of what happened with Djokovic. [My other alternative views have explained other situations: for example, Federer recently confirmed some of what I’ve said for years: that Federer has been like a "part-time player" on the ATP Tour -- putting in only 60% to 70% time and effort into his training, preparation and practice -- since winning Australian Open 2010 in order to focus on his many other business activities and family life – and that Federer would likely have won 4 to 8 more majors during the last 8 years had he only bothered to put in more effort and focus into the majors beyond benefitting from the publicity of showing up . Federer’s exceptional talent and fitness enabled him to be successful in patches between 2010 and 2016. It was his Team8-managed inaugural Laver Cup that possibly motivated Federer to put in more effort into performing better in 2017. But it's anyone's guess whether Roger was as motivated to prepare as well for this AO and the rest of 2018. Despite the protests of a few commenters, it seemed like I was mostly right all along.]

Based on his first four matches, Novak Djokovic is already playing at a very high level in all facets of his game and fitness (notwithstanding his voluntarily-changed service swing needs a few more months). Djokovic even out-fit Monfils, who had won Doha a few weeks ago, as well as easily beat No. 22 Ramos-Vinolas and No. 86 Donald Young. Djokovic is surely going to be a top three player by year-end and should win a major this year.

Getting to that level of consistent high-quality hitting, movement and fitness shown by Djokovic requires many, many hours of practice and training. It’s obvious that Djokovic has been practicing a lot — probably more than he has admitted. His elbow and body had to be healthy enough to allow him to practice so much, otherwise he would be re-injured and regress. (Although Djokovic’s break from the ATP tour was blamed on an elbow injury what’s interesting is that his good Serbian buddy Viktor Troicki — in a camera interview during the 2017 Montreal Masters — mentioned that Djokovic wanted a mental break after playing at a high level for so many years. Troicki did not mention any significant injury affecting Djokovic, which is weird if the elbow was really that severely injured).

Murray’s ex-coach Miles Maclagan told Eurosport: “I don’t think Djokovic that far away. “There were plenty of times he could get back into the match… Djokovic has actually had a pretty good run. He’s beaten Gael Monfils, who won in Doha just a few weeks ago. He’s played some great tennis and you can’t just turn it back on. It takes a long time to turn back on and play the tennis where you dominate.”
https://www.express.co.uk/sport/tennis/908404/Novak-Djokovic-Roger-Federer-Australian-Open

Let’s be honest: Chung was playing at such a high level that he was likely going to beat a returning Djokovic, injury or no injury. At this stage, Djokovic’s game was exposed by solid consistency and quality of Hyeon Chung. Djokovic’s game and mental resistance broke down, despite all his meditation work with his love guru. Some said that Chung out-Djokored Novak Djokovic. If not Chung, Djokovic probably would have lost eventually to Dominic Thiem-who-lost-to-the-neo-nazi-sympathizer, Berdych, Federer, Nadal or Cilic.

What’s missing from Djokovic’s game is simply a few more weeks or months of match practice — in order to get back the confidence that eventually comes from playing many matches.

Federer had set the bar “unrealistically high” (having the talent and fitness at age 35 to win a grand slam, beat 4 top ten players and win 3 five setters despite being away from competitive tennis for 6 months due to knee injury requiring surgery). Since the AO was his favourite tournament, Djokovic felt the pressure to emulate what Federer did and try to win this 2018 AO. So it’s possible that Team Djokovic sensationalized the elbow injury to have an injury excuse in case Djokovic fell short during the AO, which he did. Djokovic has excellent acting skills: there were times his grunting, grimacing and pain response seemed over-the-top theatrical for someone who portrays himself as a tough warrior.

If Djokovic returns by Indian Wells or earlier, then it’s unlikely there was any really serious injury. If he goes for surgery then there probably was.

Djokovic hasn’t shown his “normal level” since 2016 French Open 20 months ago. One other thing that’s going to be interesting for Djokovic’s return is how well he will be able to manage the distractions and drain on his time caused by his presidency of the ATP Player Council — it may be that he was mentally and emotionally overburdened by his work on the PLayer Council. We saw an example in the recent player’s union and prize money controversy involving Djokovic. I’ve said many times before about how Federer’s 6-year presidency of the ATP Player Council had negatively impacted his results on the ATP Tour, especially the grand slams, masters and ATP finals since that where lots of long contentious meetings take place during the tournament (since all stakeholders are present).


Emilia Says:

Wog Boy:

Don’t forget that Chung said that Djoko was his idol and it was a dream come true to play with his idol. During the match Chung looked like a “copycat” of Novak. Even Andy had a message that Chung did to Nole what Nole did to all of them for five years. I am happy for this young player and sorry that Nole couldn’t continue.
My guess is Fed will get the AO slam…

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