The bespectacled 21-year-old, conqueror of six-times Australian Open victor Novak Djokovic, suffered from blisters on his foot before retiring from the match while trailing 6-1 5-2 against 19-times grand slam champion Roger Federer.
He was also the youngest man to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Marin Cilic at the Australian Open in 2010, and he was aiming to be the youngest major finalist since Juan Martin del Potro won the title at the 2009 U.S. Open.
Chung had to retire during the second set after taking a medical time out, with Federer leading 6-1 4-1 at that point. I always thought, "I'm going to keep on playing from January to November every single year, 20-something tournaments". "Things must be all right if I haven't dropped a set and in the final", he said ahead of the evening match on Rod Laver Arena. "If he has issues, well, bad luck for him, and I'll take advantage of it".
"I think he's going to have a lot of success", Federer said.
After all, the 36-year-old Swiss star had the standing of the so-called Big Four to protect - there hasn't been a final at Melbourne Park since 2005 that hasn't featured Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Andy Murray.
Chung's coach, Neville Godwin, told the New York Times the unheralded South Korean did everything he could to be fit for the match - including receiving a series of painful injections.
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"It would be incredible", the defending champion said when asked about potentially winning that 20th grand slam title.
"Although the injury is a pity, I hope he recovers well, and I believe there will be great results in the next French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open", he said. I think I've done everything pretty well, you know. The problem is, no-one outdoes arguably the greatest of all-time at his own game. Five of Federer's six matches have finished on or under two hours and he has been on court for a total of 10hr 50min, 6hr 13mins less than Cilic.
'It isn't just an easy trip to the finals.
Ominously, Federer added: "I'm just pleased that actually my game has been good from the very beginning of the tournament so far". I'm happy to be able to make semis in Grand Slam.
While the semi-final wasn't exactly an all-time classic, much like the game the night before, fans are still wanting to actually watch the match and not an Apple ad. "I really hurt. I can't walk no more". I made first round of 16, quarters and play Sascha (Zverev), Novak, Roger. "From the return, moving, forehand, backhand, serving, I think everything is in good, solid spot". Because he (Chung) has played so many matches in the row, I think that's why it was a build-up.