Friday morning, starting 08:30 GMT, we have Chung – Federer, the second semifinal of the Australian Open. Who wins this one, plays Cilic in the final!
Chung – Is currently 58th in the men’s rankings. The 21-years old player made a surprise run at the NextGen competition in Milano (Italy) last year and got his hands on the trophy. But 2017 also brought him a quarter-final in Barcelona (Spain), a semifinal in Munchen (Germany) or a third round at Roland Garros, plus a Challenger title at Maui (United States). At the first tournament of the year, in Brisbane (Australia), he got eliminated in the second round. Afterwards, in Auckland (New Zealand), Chung couldn’t make it past the quarter-finals. Saw Mischa Zverev (Germany) withdraw in the first round, at 6-2, 4-1, and then beat Medveded (Russia), 7-6, 6-1, 6-1. The funny part is that he came face to face with the other Zverev brother, Alexander, in the third round. It was a brilliant encounter, with Hyeon ending up the winner, 5-7, 7-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0. But his most important victory came in the 1/8 of the competition, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 against Djokovic (Serbia). With this result in mind, there was no way he couldn’t handle Sandgren (United States) in the next round. Chung won in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3.
Federer – Had a remarkable 2017 season and is now second in the ATP rankings. The 36-years of age legend won two Grand Slam titles, at Australian Open and Wimbledon, and secured trophies at Indian Wells (United States), Miami (United States), Halle (Germany), Shanghai (China) and Basel (Switzerland). Not so young anymore, Roger chose to start his season at Hopman Cup, a decision that proved wised. The Swiss won all his single games there and even ended up with the title. Hasn’t lost a single set thus far, beating Bedene (Great Britain), 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, Struff (Germany), 6-4, 6-4, 7-6, Gasquet (France), 6-2, 7-5, 6-4, Fucsovics (Hungary), 6-4, 7-6, 6-2, and Berdych (Czech Republic), 7-6, 6-3, 6-4. However, Tomas had 4-1 in the first set against Roger, even missing two opportunities to seal the deal.
Berdych – Federer showed us that Tomas wasn’t prepared to go above average when it mattered. He didn’t take risks and that cost him the game. Tomas only got 22 winners to the 61 that Roger had. I’m pretty sure that Chung won’t do the same mistake and will show more determination and confidence. His background story is one of a future champ that never lets anything stand between him and his dreams. Although Federer won all matches in straight sets, he didn’t dominate every part from start to finish. I think Chung can do a good job of keeping close and fight for a spot in the final.
Prediction: Chung + 7,5 games, odds 1.38
Chung - Federer