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[Newsmaker] Chung Hyeon becomes Korea's highest-ranked tennis player

Australian Open semifinalist Chung Hyeon became Korea's highest-ranked tennis player Monday after he cracked the top 30.

Chung jumped from 58th to 29th in the latest men's singles rankings released by the Association of Tennis Professionals after earning 720 ranking points for his historic semifinals run at the season's first Grand Slam event.

Lee Hyung-taik, who is retired, previously held the highest-ranked position by a Korean player at No. 36. He reached that position in August 2007.

Chung Hyeon(Yonhap)
Chung Hyeon(Yonhap)

Chung became first Korean -- man or woman -- to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam event after he stormed into the last four at the Australian Open last week. The 21-year-old was forced to withdraw from his semifinal match against Roger Federer due to blisters on his foot, but his earlier opponents included six-time Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic and fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev.

Chung is now the second highest-ranked Asian player behind Kei Nishikori of Japan, who sits at 27th.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal retained his top dog status in the ATP rankings despite a quarterfinals exit at the Australian Open. Federer, who claimed his 20th Grand Slam title by beating Marin Cilic in the Australian Open final, also stayed at No. 2. Cilic jumped from sixth to third with his runner-up finish.(Yonhap)
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