Chung defeated Pablo Cuevas in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, to reach the final eight at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, on Wednesday (local time).
Having started the year at No. 58 in the world rankings, Chung has climbed all the way to No. 26, thanks in large part to his run to the semifinals at the Australian Open in January.
|Chung Hyeon of South Korea celebrates his victory over Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, on March 14. (Yonhap)|
He dominated Cuevas to take a 6-1, 5-0 lead, before the Uruguayan, ranked 34th, battled back to break Chung twice and make it 5-3. The South Korean wouldn't be denied, however, breaking Cuevas to close out the win in 78 minutes.
"I had a chance to finish off the match early, but the wind picked up, and Cuevas started playing better near the end," Chung said, according to a transcript provided by his agency, IMG. "I am pleased that I reached the quarterfinals, and I'll prepare hard for my next match."
That next match will be against none other than world No. 1 Roger Federer, who dispatched Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 6-4 in the round of 16. It will be a rematch of the Australian Open semifinals from January, when Chung had to retire in the second set due to blisters on his foot. Federer went on to win the championship for his 20th career Grand Slam singles title.
Chung broke through with his first ATP Tour win last November at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals and has gone 15-5 so far in 2018 while advancing to at least the quarterfinals in all five events he's played.
This is Chung's first quarterfinal appearance at a Masters 1000 tournament. The Masters 1000 series is the third-highest tier of ATP tournaments after the four Grand Slam events and the season-ending ATP Finals. Players earn more ranking points at these events than the 500 series and the 250 series tournaments. (Yonhap)