Hindustan Times (Delhi)



MELBOURNE: Hyeon Chung wasn’t on Twitter before he began his historic run at the Australian Open, becoming the first Korean player to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam. Now, thanks to a breakout performanc­e at Melbourne Park that has included a win over childhood idol and six-time champion Novak Djokovic, he’s achieving the kind of instant celebrity in South

Korea usually reserved for K-pop stars. Chung has only tweeted four times since setting up the account on Wednesday, but had 11,000 followers within 24 hours. “From what I’ve heard, it’s blowing up in Korea pretty big,” said Chung’s coach, Neville Godwin. “The day after the Djokovic match, he was front page in every single Korean newspaper. And deservedly so.” Tennis ranks far behind baseball or golf in Korea. But Chung’s quarter-final win drew top television ratings. Sales of equipment including rackets, bags and clothes at Korea’s online retailer Gmarket surged 96% year-on-year in the 24 hours after Chung’s quarter-final victory.

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