Federer on Nadal's heels in rankings

AFP
Nadal, who was knocked out in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in Melbourne, has 9,760 points with Federer on 9,605.
AFP
Reuters

Roger Federer takes a selfie with the Australian Open trophy during a visit to Government House in Melbourne on January 29, 2018.

Roger Federer's victory at the Australian Open has taken him to within 155 points of world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the ATP rankings released on Monday.

Nadal, who was knocked out in the quarterfinals in Melbourne, has 9,760 points with Federer on 9,605.

Marin Cilic, who took Federer to five sets in the final, moves up three places to a career-high ranking of third.

Chung Hyeon is rewarded for his surprise run to the semifinals with a 29-place leap to 29th in the world.

Chung hopes his run in Melbourne will give South Korean tennis a shot in the arm and the 21-year-old said his next target was breaking into the top 10 in the world rankings.

Chung, who beat six-time champion Novak Djokovic in the fourth round at Melbourne Park last week, was forced to retire from his last-four clash with eventual champion Federer due to blistered feet on Friday.

President Moon Jae-in issued a statement congratulating Chung for writing a "new chapter in South Korean sports history" and the player was welcomed home by hundreds of fans at Incheon International Airport on Sunday evening.

"I didn't expect this many people to be here," he said of his reception. "I must have done something big."

Chung rose from 58th in the world to 29th when the latest rankings were released on Monday, the highest position ever achieved by a Korean player.

"I really want a place in the top 10 now," Yonhap News quoted Chung as saying. "I'm setting my sights on something high and going after it."

The Korean Tennis Association is planning to pour more resources into the game to capitalise on Chung's exploits, while sales of tennis equipment surged last week.

"Tennis isn't a popular sport here right now but I want it to become popular," Chung said.

Chung added that he would visit a hospital on Monday for treatment on his blisters before deciding on his upcoming schedule.

Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki moved to the top of the WTA rankings released on Monday on the back of her maiden Grand Slam triumph at the Australian Open.

The 27-year-old Dane usurped Romanian Simona Halep whom she beat in an epic Melbourne final, reclaiming the No. 1 ranking six years to the day since she last relinquished it.

Halep dropped to No. 2 while former No. 1, German Angelique Kerber, who lost in the semifinals to the Romanian, climbed seven places to ninth.

The other beaten semifinalist, Belgium's Elise Mertens, climbed 17 spots to 20th.

American Venus Williams dropped three places to eighth following her first-round loss.

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