It’s Federer’s sixth Australian Open title.
The unseeded 21-year-old threw in the towel a short time later. He has had the same problems as Chung and he defeated me at the US Open in 2014. “It looks like I really did something great”.
Soaring temperatures and packed schedules have led to criticism of the tournament, although the fact a 36-year-old playing in his 18th Australian Open could make it through to the final was perhaps some saving grace for organisers.
With Cilic serving at 30-30 in the next game after Federer held serve, Cilic hit a second serve that Federer missed but Federer nearly simultaneously challenged the serve call.
It was an anti-climactic end for Chung, who played superbly to beat fourth seed Alexander Zverev in five sets in round three and even better in a straight sets win over six-times champion Novak Djokovic in the round of 16. That was the first set Federer had dropped in the tournament.
Federer had yet to drop a set, and had spent more than two hours less on court than his young opponent.
“It would be incredible”, said the Swiss.
The 6ft 6in world number six has shown the same kind of powerful tennis in Melbourne that swept him past Federer and onto US Open title in NY four years ago. “Federer was really smooth and it looks like he doesn’t get exhausted easily”.
Federer has called the Queenslander his idol, helping found the Laver Cup in tribute to the Australian champion. He said he enjoyed every moment at this year’s Australian Open. “For many weeks and months before, you try to put yourself in the position, are you going to be ready in case a good semi-finals or quarter-finals match at the Australian Open, so forth”.
That is four more than his closest challenger Rafael Nadal and his third in the space of a year.
“It’s bittersweet. I’m happy to be in the final, but not like this”.
In South Korea, Chung will focus on receiving treatments on his injured foot. “He’s going to be a very good player, going to have a lot of success”. In the second set, I felt he was getting slower. I think he played great against Rafa [Nadal]. The encounter was staged on Marat’s 25th birthday and he made sure to give himself the best possible gift, especially after winning the title three days later. “I want to be stronger next year”.
Fans in the arena and around the world were understandably disappointed that a potentially gripping tennis match had been diluted, and then eventually prematurely ended, by Chung’s injury. I can’t walk any more. Not under the circumstances I was hoping to (reach the final). Chung, who turned pro in 2014, has one victory on the ATP Tour.
“Like Marin said you guys are unbelievable as a country and a people”. He will take on Marin Cilic, who rises to a career-high No3 with his first run to the Australian final. He managed to hold serve to make a solid start and was growing in confidence, working two break points in the next game with some sparkling groundstrokes. “But Godwin broke my stereotype”. Because he has played so many matches in the row, I think that’s why it was a build-up.