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ICYMI at Australian Open — Tennis world, meet Hyeon Chung

MELBOURNE, Australia — It’s fair to assume Hyeon Chung is not on the Zverev family Christmas card list.

On Saturday at Melbourne Park, Chung walked away with one of the biggest victories of his career when he took out fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev 5-7, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in the third round of the Australian Open.

In a battle of two of the most highly touted up-and-coming players, Chung produced a stunning final two sets — including a bagel in the last — to send Zverev out of the tournament.

It means he is 2-0 against the Zverev family this week after beating Alexander’s older brother, Mischa, in the first round. (Chung advanced when Mischa retired with a viral illness while trailing 6-2, 4-1.)

In beating the younger Zverev, Chung became the first Korean to ever get to the round of 16 at the Australian Open.

Zverev became only the sixth top-five seed in the Open era to lose a fifth set at a major 6-0, and the first since Stan Wawrinka here in 2015.

In Zverev’s postmatch press conference, he admitted he needed to find a way to get stronger mentally in seminal moments:

Q: The fifth set is more physical or a mental problem, you think?

Zverev: Definitely not physical, so … I have some figuring out to do, what happens to me in deciding moments in Grand Slam.

It happened at Wimbledon. It happened in New York. It happened here.

I’m still young, so I got time. I definitely have some figuring out to do for myself.

Q: Do you think it’s something that has something to do with the Slams?

Zverev: Yes, because at the other tournaments, my three-set record is pretty decent over the last few years.

Q: You just said it happens in the Slams. Do you think maybe you put too much pressure on yourself because you really care and want to do well, so it’s more difficult for you?

Zverev: Yeah, yes.



After a third set that lasted 2 hours, 22 minutes, No. 1 Simona Halep holds on to beat Lauren Davis 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Take a bow, Simona Halep and Lauren Davis.

If it wasn’t the match of the tournament, it certainly has to be on the shortlist.

Fans were treated to a spectacle early Saturday in the first match on Rod Laver Arena. Halep and Davis split the first two sets 6-4 before a 126-minute third-set marathon.

Here are some other key stats from the match:

  • At 3 hours and 45 minutes, it was the third-longest women’s match at the Australian Open.

  • In overall games, this battle was the longest women’s Grand Slam match to feature a No. 1 seed.

  • Lauren Davis is now 0-4 in third-round Grand Slam matches.

Afterward, Davis admitted she was aware of the enormity of the match.

Q. The match captivated so many. Deep into the third set, did you ever have a moment that, hey, this is pretty cool? This is an instant classic? Out here on Laver? Any sense of that moment during the match?

Davis: Yeah, I was definitely aware of what a great match it was, but for the most part, I was dialed in. I was in the zone and trying to focus on what it was I had to do in that next point in order to be successful. But yeah, it was definitely a very exciting moment for me.

Davis also mentioned a rather grotesque injury she suffered late in the match. Talk about courage!

Q. Can you talk us through the injury you had? Seems like a crucial point when you had 40-love.

Davis: Yeah, it was definitely unfortunate, the timing of it. I think my second toes are just a bit infected. I was just jamming them a lot with how much I was moving around the court.

Yeah, that first match point just, I felt something, and I couldn’t really put any pressure — it was my right toe, and then it eventually was my left toe also. The trainer wrapped them really well, and I was able to move fine after that.

Q. Did your nail actually come off?

Davis: It’s about to.

It’s good to have mum in the stands. Even better when mum is your coach. And even better when she is with you on the other side of the world and you’re into the second week of a major for the first time.

That is the life of Tennys Sandgren, who beat Maximilian Marterer 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 on Saturday.

Did we mention he’s an American playing in an event in which all his compatriots have already fallen? All except Madison Keys anyway. But she was expected to be here. Tennys?

“It’s kind of silly,” he said when asked if he was pinching himself.

But back to mum. Believe it or not, she didn’t pick up a racket until she was in her 30s, according to Sandgren, and it wasn’t easy for her to get him engaged in the game.

“She had to take a lot of nonsense from me, and she did,” Sandgren said. “Helped me grow and learn and improve.”

Sandgren next takes on No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem on Monday.

Hip surgery prevented Andy Murray from competing in Melbourne, but the former world No. 1 is watching the tournament from home during his recovery.

Still suffering from jet lag, the three-time Grand Slam champion entertained his Twitter followers when he sent a shoutout to his fans, asking them to ask him anything.

What followed was as entertaining as it was informative, with Murray showcasing his quirky sense of humor, as well as reaffirming his desire to get back onto the court and once again mix it up with the world’s best.

There were a lot of unhappy fans at Margaret Court Arena before, during and after the Ashleigh BartyNaomi Osaka clash. And not just because their local hope crashed out in straight sets.

Originally scheduled to be played at Rod Laver Arena, the match was moved at short notice to ease a schedule logjam. While fine in theory, the decision had major ramifications for fans at Melbourne Park; those already at Margaret Court Arena were more than happy to stick around for a bonus match, especially one involving an Australian player. Those with RLA tickets were also told they had access to MCA.

The result? A packed house and huge lines of furious, frustrated fans stretching outside every door at Margaret Court Arena.

The backlash was swift on social media, with the official Twitter account of the Australian Open replying to multiple people with this explanation: “We understand that Aussie fans were keen to see #Barty so #RLA day session ticket holders were provided access to #MCA — along with #MCA day session ticket holders — on a first come first served basis.”

A lot of fan angst outside Margaret Court Arena. The match was moved from Rod Laver at short notice due to some marathon matches on RLA. Many fans at MCA were more than happy to stick around to watch a bonus match in Barty-Osaka; those with RLA tickets were told their passes would get them into Margaret Court Arena but the stadium is jam packed. Now, many unhappy punters are lined up outside with little hope of squeezing in.

Niall Seewang, ESPN Associate Editor

Why on earth was Nick Kyrgios playing doubles?

It was the question on every Australian’s mind when the 22-year-old was on court with Matt Reid braving Thursday’s 40 ºC (104 ºF) heat less than 24 hours removed from his third-round singles clash against boyhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The duo spent a shade under two hours on court before advancing to the second round, but the decision to play clearly didn’t sit well with the Aussie, who attacked his support group midway through his Tsonga encounter.

“Why the f— am I playing doubles? Hours in 50 degree heat, really good management,” he bemoaned.

However, on Saturday Kyrgios withdrew from his second-round doubles match in a bid to focus on his upcoming singles match against world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov.

Kyrgios’ record against top-three players, you ask? An impressive 6-4.

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