Classy Chung catching the eye in Melbourne
The impressive Hyeon Chung is capturing the imagination with his fairytale run at the Australian Open.
Chung, 21, was already the first South Korean to make the quarter-finals of a grand slam, and he moved into the last four on Wednesday.
The rising star outclassed another surprise package, Tennys Sandgren, 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena to advance to the semi-finals.
Chung is an instantly likeable character, and he has started to show his personality at Melbourne Park.
His run to the last four has been impressive, including wins over Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic. It was undoubtedly the victory against six-time Australian Open champion Djokovic that thrust Chung into the spotlight. Even then, last year's Next Gen ATP Finals winner was willing to play to the crowd, calling for greater support - and he did so again against Sandgren.
He has become the youngest man since Marin Cilic (2010 Australian Open) to reach the semis of a grand slam. His talent promises to take him further.
Chung's counter-punching style saw him instantly compared to Djokovic as he faced the Serbian 12-time grand slam winner, a player he idolised.
There is a playfulness and happiness about Chung as he embarks on what is sure to be the first of many grand slam runs. And the youthful honesty of his post-match interviews and news conferences add yet another layer to a figure growing in popularity.
Chung needed six match points against Sandgren, allowing himself to not only think ahead but also about making history, and he was willing to say as much.
"I think [in the] last game many things come together," he said afterwards. "If I win one more point, I make history in Korea. I have to think about the ceremony, something.
"Anyway, I have to stay calm because the match is not finished yet, so I'm just trying to stay calm until [I] finish the match."
The lack of fear could be carrying Chung some way, and his run may yet make him a crowd favourite in Melbourne.