Monday, 18 January 2016

Novak v Korean teenager

Heyon Chung has established himself as one of the next generation of players to challenge for the top level on the ATP tour.  Only 18 from Korea and in the world's top 50 he would have relished a challenge at this year's Australian Ooen and he indeed received that in the form of the world's best in round one.

Novak Djokovic is far and away the premier player and his routing of Nadal in Doha a matter of weeks ago only served as proof that 2016 is another year of torture for most of the other players on tour.

Well the young Korean put on a good display for the best part of set one, winning his serve and presenting Djokovic with more problems than expected.  It was 2-2 and Novak had been taken to 0-30 on one occasion.  The heat was also clearly a nuisance for the world number one.

Irrespective, Novak stepped it up in game five, using his sliced backhand to corner Chung before pulling out a winning forehand on the way to breaking the Korean serve. 4-2.

Surprisingly, Djokovic lost concentration and games were back on serve 4-3.  However that seemed to wake up the champion and he dominated as we know he can, and the set was soon his 6-3.

The trend continued in set two, and Chung could not hold serve, Djokovic playing shots at will, including a suite of drop shot, lob and cross court winner just to remind us had we forgotten what a magician he is.

The second set ran away from Chung and apart from his robust effort to save his serve in an 11 minute epic fifth game, Djokovic snapped up the set 6-2 and the match was almost his.

The final set had its course set immediately once Djokovic broke the Korean serve and led 2-0.  Although Chung continued to impress, he clearly has some time to go before being able to match it with the likes of Novak.

Djokovic will remain favourite to win Aus Open 2016.

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