Who is Hyeon Chung?
We have been watching the South Korean player for the last 2 years. With an obvious talent, and a burning desire to perform, It was inevitable for Chung to start taking strides to the pinnacle of the sport. He has just taken one of the biggest steps in his career, by reaching the 4th round of the 2018 Australian Open, beating the talented and ever progressing German, Alexander Zverev in round 3. In a post-match interview, Zverev compared Chung to the great Rafael Nadal, which is some statement! So, just who is Hyeon Chung?
The 21-year-old, born in Suwon, stands at 6ft 2in and has superb athletic power, especially from the waist down. His legs are more similar to that of a weightlifter!
Chung took up tennis as a way to try to help maintain his eyesight after requiring glasses at a young age. Renowned for his double-handed backhand and for his return of serve, he won the Eddie Herr International and Junior Orange Bowl Boys under-12s titles in December 2008, and was subsequently signed, along with his brother Chung Hong, to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy at IMG in Florida. He began competing on the ITF junior tour in 2012, and was runner-up in the 2013 Wimbledon Boys Champion, a month after winning his first Futures title. He later competed in his first ATP tournament, the Malaysian Open, being defeated in the first round. He reached a career junior high of no. 7, with an 84-32 win-loss record.
In 2015, Chung reached the final qualifying round for the Australian Open, but focused his efforts on the Challenger Tour. He won at the Burnie Challenger in February to reach the world’s top 150 and subsequently received a Wildcard for the ATP competition at the Miami Open, getting to the second round of this Masters level tournament. Two further Challenger titles followed in April and May 2015, which saw him enter the world top 100 for the first time.
In 2017 he qualified for the Next Generation ATP Finals in Milan and defeated Andrey Rublev in the final. As the undefeated champion, Chung won prize money of $390,000.
Can he continue his incredible run at this years Australian Open? Only last year were we saying that Zverev and Thiem were the next rising stars of our sport. However, Chung has gatecrashed the party in force. Our prediction is positive for the South Korean. He is powerful, strong, athletic and still very young, meaning that he will continue to improve. His current ATP ranking is #58, however, we are expecting this to drop to the 10s within the next couple of years.