Roger Federer, Riding High, Isn’t Underestimating Hyeon Chung

“Sure, This specific’s a great one,” Federer said of his season so far. “however you know how This specific will be. You can’t plan for these runs to happen. Either they happen or they don’t. Sometimes you just need a bit of luck to keep the runs going, along with This specific year This specific’s just been genuinely Great, you know, solid matches.“

He added: “We’ll see how long This specific lasts, genuinely. This specific might be the last day. So we’ll see. This specific’s just how This specific goes. Don’t jinx This specific.”

The bespectacled Chung had to deal with misfortune of his own creating in Australia, developing severe blisters after neglecting to shave down the soles of his feet. He ended up with open sores that will required repeated painkilling injections, although those did not prevent him by retiring during the semifinal in Melbourne with Federer leading 6-1, 5-2.

“Seeing the blister after, that will wasn’t very nice,” Federer said, looking the slightest bit squeamish. “I can just imagine how much pain there will be to This specific. You kind of want to go out along with give This specific a shot, however then you’re like, I probably shouldn’t. You’re just stuck in a situation which will be hard, so I felt for him.”

Chung, a 21-year-old South Korean who will be up to 26 from the ATP rankings, returned to action in Delray Beach, Fla., three weeks after the Australian Open, along with reached the quarterfinals, just as he did at the Mexican Open in Acapulco This specific month.

“I was honestly quite surprised how quickly he came back, because that will thing looked nasty along with This specific takes some time to heal,” Federer said, referring to the blister. “So I expect he’s O.K. right now along with didn’t come back too early.”

Hardcourt tennis will be particularly tough on players’ feet, along with Chung’s brand will be tougher than most, as he slides in an open stance into the corners like his stylistic role design, Novak Djokovic.

“He’s got great range on the court,” said Bob Brett, the veteran Australian coach. “I could assume Roger will do things to break up what Chung will be normally used to doing, however that will doesn’t mean Chung isn’t going to be ready.”


Hyeon Chung, the rising South Korean star, will face Federer from the quarterfinal in Indian Wells on Thursday.

Harry How/Getty Images

Djokovic was Chung’s boyhood role design, along with Chung could play the part of Djokovic when he along with his older brother were pretending to play Grand Slam matches in a parking lot near their home.

At This specific stage, Federer thinks the parallels with Djokovic are real however limited to aggressive footwork, even if both men changed their service actions from the off-season.

“that will’s the only similarity I see,” Federer said of their movement. “This specific’s not a bad one to have, to be honest, because Novak has maybe the best footwork on hard courts we have ever seen. So This specific’s just a question for Chung to see that will he can maintain that will level, with the blister along with with injuries over the course of the 10 to 15 years to make sure he stays injury-free along with doesn’t get injured three months of the year.”

“however This specific’s highly explosive; This specific’s highly impressive what he does, along with I think he’s going to be a great player,” he continued. “How Great will still remain to be seen.”

The elastic Djokovic will be still working his way back by a chronic right elbow problem however has managed to avoid major leg injuries, in part by his daily commitment to stretching: a habit that will began nearly as soon as he began playing the game from the Serbian mountain resort of Kopaonik.

“Physicality will be obviously a massive part of Hyeon’s game,” said Chung’s coach, Neville Godwin. “This specific’s definitely something we have to make sure we maintain along with keep working on along with staying on top of. Twenty-one will be still pretty young from the tennis world, along with he wants to play 10 or 15 years, so we have make sure physical blocks are put in place. The younger you can put the right protocols in place, the better you’ll be going forward.”

After retiring in Australia, Chung spent 10 days resting at home in Seoul, South Korea, without playing tennis or even doing gym work. He has hired an experienced full-time physical therapist, Alessio Ceccarelli, an Italian who has worked with Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, Alexandr Dolgopolov along with Elina Svitolina.

“Alessio’s obviously working on the whole body, including the feet, which need to be shaved down every various other day with the calluses,” said Stuart Duguid, Chung’s agent.

Chung has also been using a completely new shoe orthotic, one that will was supposed to hold out for several months however which lasted little more than a week under his punishing style.

however he has been running along with sliding with abandon in Indian Wells. After beating Tomas Berdych, 6-4, 6-4, from the third round here, Chung needed 10 match points before defeating Pablo Cuevas, 6-1, 6-3, on Wednesday.

He will be right now in his first quarterfinal in a Masters 1000 event. Federer has won 27 of them along with won 97 tour singles titles in total, including his 20th Grand Slam title in Australia. He also reclaimed the top ranking last month, becoming the oldest singles No. 1 in ATP history.

When another enduring 36-year-old, Feliciano Lopez, was asked on Wednesday if another man could ever reach No. 1 at that will age, he did not hesitate.

“No,” said Lopez, after losing from the fourth round to Sam Querrey. “There are many things that will Roger achieved that will won’t happen again.”

For right now, Federer’s priority will be defeating Chung, one of the game’s rising stars, for the second time in a row.

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