Federer repeats Hungarian success; injured Djokovic out at Australian Open

Bill Scott, DPA on

Published in Tennis

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Roger Federer went back to the future on Monday at the Australian Open, beating Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 exactly 16 years after knocking out the Hungarian's coach early in his tennis career.

In 2002, the emerging Swiss, now holder of a record 19 Grand Slam titles, defeated Atilla Savolt in the Melbourne second round.

But there was a shock for six-time champion Novak Djokovic as the Serb fell to Korean prospect Chung Hyeon, 7-6 (7-4) 7-5, 7-6 (7-3).

Djokovic, who missed the last six months of 2017 with an elbow problems, said he felt the injury in defeat, while congratulating his Asian conqueror.

"He was a better player on the court tonight. He deserved to win, no question about it, Djokovic said. "Whenever he was in trouble, he came up with some unbelievable shots, passing shots. Just from the back of the court, you know, he was like a wall."

Djokovic termed his health as "not great, unfortunately."

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He added: "At the end of the first set, it (elbow) started hurting more. I had to deal with it till the end of the match.

"It's disappointing to go out in the fourth round, but the circumstances are such. I have to accept it. That's the reality."

Federer has been a regular in the last eight at the Australian Open, playing quarterfinals in 13 of his last 14 appearances. It will be his 52nd career quarter at a major.

The 36-year-old broke to end the opening set and was equally comfortable as he won the second in a tiebreaker. Federer began the third with a break and increased the pressure with a smooth volley winner at the net to take victory in two hours.


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