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Federer in finals as Chung retires

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Switzerland’s Roger Federer looks on as South Korea’s Chung Hyeon is treated for a foot injury during a medical timeout in their men’s singles semi-finals match on day 12 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Paul Crock


Roger Federer edged a step closer to defending his title when Hyeon Chung retired in the second set of their match on Rod Laver Arena. With the quick victory of 6/1; 5/2; retired. It was a disappointing end to a match that was preceded by great expectations of a veritable clash of age groups.

Feeder won the toss and elected to receive. The first point of the match was lost by Chung when a powerful return of his serve forced a missed forehand. Although Federer lost the next point, he had two break points and achieved the break after a deuce. He delivered two aces and survived a break point before clinching the game. The first two games pointed to a battle in the offing and this was supported by Chung’s hold of serve. However, Federer commenced a one-sided run to a 5-1 lead.

The sixth game was the battle of the war. With a double fault in the process, Chung faced 304- break point but hit a backhand winner to deuce. He had only one advantage opportunity while cancelling his opponent’s three before a double fault and a forehand winner gave Roger the game and set.

Roger opened serving in the second set and hammered two aces on route to taking the first game. Chung leveled. Federer broke Chung in the fourth game and delivered three aces to take his serve in the fifth. The Korean held serve to reduce the tally and a short service game put Federer in a 5- 2 lead. After the changeover, Chung lost the first point on Feeder forehand winner but leveled and led 30-15. A backhand error forced by a powerful Federer shot leveled points at 30-all. Instead of serving the next point, Hyeon went to the Chair Umpire to inform him that he could no longer continue the match on account of injury. What manner of injury remained unknown at the time of handshake with a sympathetic Federer.

The question was posed during the interview and Stuart Duguid answered on behalf of Chung that it was a serious blister; that had been treated all through the previous matches. “It was blister over blister over blister,” he said. It was explained that many players have calluses and shave them off. In Chung’s case this time around, it had become “raw red” and pain-killing injections did not help.

As was the case with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the frailty of the human body determined the result. Roger Federer would be seeking his record 20th Grand Slam title in the finals against Marin Cilic tomorrow.


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Roger Federer
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