Roger Federer Reaches Australian Open Final As Hyeon Chung Retires [VIDEO]
Roger Federer Australian Open 2018 semifinal win news
The 21-year-old South Korean star withdrew after suffering blisters on both feet and with Federer leading 6-1, 5-2.
“I think I did the right thing,” Chung said following the match. “It really hurts. I can’t walk normal.”
Chung and Federer — a five-time Australian Open champion and the World No. 2 — played for just 62 minutes. The matchup marked the first meeting between the two players.
The 36-year-old Federer will face No. 6 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia in Sunday’s final.
The Swiss said Chung dealt with his injuries well on Friday and even previously against Novak Djokovic.
“I knew he was having issues with his feet going into it,” Federer said of Chung. “But I knew he also had issues going into the match against Novak.”
“He handled that very well, the same against Sandgren,” he added, referring to Chung’s four-set victory over the 26-year-old American Tennys Sandgren in the quarterfinals.
On Monday, Chung will jump from No. 58 to No. 29 in the rankings. That is the highest singles ranking ever for a Korean player.
Federer said he believed Chung was “going to be a very good player,” but he refused to make predictions.
“I don’t like to put too much pressure on players by saying they’re going to win everything, because I don’t think it’s fair,” he said.
Sunday’s final will be a rematch of last year’s Wimbledon title contest, which also included one player being hindered by foot blisters and a match that Federer won.
Federer won in Melbourne last year after securing several victories in tense five-setters. He is now seeking his 20th major singles title.
The Swiss has reached a Grand Slam final without losing a set for the sixth time in his career.
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 29: Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to Frances Tiafoe on Day Two of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)