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South Korean Tennis Player Defeats His Idol, Novak Djokovic

South Korea's Chung Hyeon, left, is congratulated by Serbia's Novak Djokovic after winning their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
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This is What’s Trending today …

Novak Djokovic of Serbia is one of the best tennis players in the world. He has won 68 professional ATP tennis tournaments including 12 Grand Slam championships. Six of his Grand Slam victories came from the Australian Open championships in the city of Melbourne.

Chung Hyeon of South Korea has won just one, an ATP tournament for players at the age of 21 and younger last November. Chung started playing tennis at the age of 6. His professional tennis biography said, “Growing up, [I] looked up to Novak Djokovic because of his ‘fantastic game and mental strength.’"

When Novak Djokovic stepped on the court at the Australian Open Monday against Chung, he did not know that he was about to see a clone of himself.

The difficult match lasted three hours and 21 minutes. Djokovic battled an opponent who chased down balls and returned shots from every angle. These are the defensive skills that Djokovic is known for.

Chung won 34 of the 54 rallies that continued for at least nine strokes. In the second set, Chung won a 35-shot rally. Chung also saved 14 of the 19 break points he faced against Djokovic. And he hit 39 winning shots against one of the fastest professional tennis players today.

South Korea's Chung Hyeon makes a backhand return to Serbia's Novak Djokovic
South Korea's Chung Hyeon makes a backhand return to Serbia's Novak Djokovic

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reaches for a backhand return to South Korea's Chung Hyeon
Serbia's Novak Djokovic reaches for a backhand return to South Korea's Chung Hyeon

The young Korean celebrated very little after defeating Djokovic in straight sets, 7-6, 7-5 and 7-6. But the crowd, which included many Koreans, stood and cheered him.

Djokovic called Chung’s play “an amazing performance.” He said, “Whenever he was in trouble he came out with some great passing shots and at the back of the court he was like a wall.”

After the match, Chung said, “I can play two more hours. I‘m younger than Novak so I don’t care!”

About his play, he said, “I was just trying to copy Novak because he’s my idol. My dreams have come true tonight.”

With his victory, Chung became the first Korean to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal. He will face American Tennys Sandgren in the next round.

And that's what's trending today.

I’m Dorothy Gundy.

Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English with additional information from Reuters. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in This Story

Grand Slam –n. describing one of the four major championships in professional tennis

clone –n. an exact copy

angle –n. the direction of motion

rally –n. (tennis) when player send make many shots before one wins the point

break point –n. in tennis, is a point when the player who is returning serve can win a game by “breaking” the player who is serving.

amazing –adj. causing great surprise

idol –n. a greatly loved or admired person

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