After a phenomenal run at the 2018 Australian Open, the South Korean “Professor” was forced to end his campaign in Melbourne, Australia via a painful finish.
South Korea’s tennis star Hyeon Chung, who has been dubbed by foreign media as the “Killer of Giants” and an icon in the making for his impressive performance at the Australian Open, succumbed to an unfortunate injury in his semi-final bid against defending champ Roger Federer.
The bespectacled 21-year-old athlete became a massive favorite during the tournament after reaching the final four in Melbourne.
Unfortunately, Chung had to give up due to an injury later described by his agent Stuart Duguid as a “blister under blister under blister”.
Obviously struggling in the second set after losing the first set 6-1, the South Korean was forced to quit with Federer also in the lead, Associated Press reports. He would later share a photo of his injury amid fans faulting him for throwing in the towel early.
“Tonight, I tried very hard to bring my utmost energy to the tennis court as usual. However, I had to make a tough decision given that I cannot compete 100% against Roger, in front of many tennis fans. Please understand. I wish all the best luck for @rogerfederer in the finals,” Chung wrote on Instagram.
Federer himself understood the difficulty in playing in such condition.
“I’ve played with blisters in the past a lot and it hurts a lot,” Federer said in an interview after the game. “And at one point, you realize it’s too much and you just can’t take it anymore and you realize there’s no way you can come back. It’s better to stop.”
Despite the loss, Chung’s performance in the tournament is nothing short of amazing, with him making history as the first Korean player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open despite being an unseeded player at the start.
Chung’s inspiring story began when he was a child with an eye condition called astigmatism, which disrupts the way the eye focuses light resulting in blurry vision. An eye doctor reportedly told him that focusing on something green could help his eyes focus. Since his brother played tennis, Chung decided to take up the sport too. Due to his condition, Chung still wears glasses on the court, earning him the nicknames “The Professor” and “The Scientist”.
Feature image via Instagram/hyeon519