One of the most improbable wins during the Australian Open tennis tournament occurred last week. Hyeon Chung, a South Korean tennis player ranked fifty-eight in the world, reached the semifinals. Someone ranked fifty-eight beating top players like Novak Djokovic to reach the semifinals is news in itself. But something else makes this an especially significant win. Chung is the first South Korean to ever reach a semifinal match in a Grand Slam tournament. And to add another feather to his cap … he is also the youngest player to ever do so at just twenty-one years of age.
When asked about who he would like to play, Chung said, “Whoever wins, I’m playing. I don’t care.”
Unfortunately for Chung, he lost to Roger Federer in the semifinals. Federer went on to win the Australian Open championship … at the age of thirty-six. Why is his age surprising? Well, given the physical toll tennis can take on the body, players usually retire in their late twenties or early thirties! Plus, this was the twentieth Grand Slam win for Federer, a first for any male tennis player.
Perhaps next time, Chung!