It's all fun and games: Chung proves a refreshing change

He's quirky, he's a budding biologist, his eyesight is terrible and he's an overnight Instagram sensation.

And Hyeon Chung is loving every second of it. It's a good thing he's not being coached by Denis Pagan.

But the real man behind South Korea's first ever grand slam semi-finalist, coach Neville Godwin, believes Chung's extroverted personality helps him on the tennis court.

In fact, the coach says his final words to Chung before he walks out onto Rod Laver Arena to take on the legendary Roger Federer will be: "Have fun and enjoy it."

The South African Godwin, who until November was coaching world No.12 Kevin Anderson, has only just started working with Chung.

But he says there's already plenty to like.

"He just loves the environment. It's pretty exciting for him, he's a youngster. I think it's really great how he's allowing his character and his personality to come out," Godwin said.

"He's got a fantastic sense of humour and he's becoming more confident with his English.

"He's endearing himself. He's smiling a lot and he's just a great character and a super-nice kid. He's loving every second of it ??? and without saying it too much he's loving that his Instagram followers are going up every single day."

Chung has nearly 70,000 followers and that figure is rising exponentially. He's also created a media storm in South Korea.

"The day after the Djokovic match he was on the front page of every South Korean newspaper, and deservedly so," Godwin continued.

"It's much better to embrace it than to shy away from it."

One thing that Chung can't afford to shy away from is his eyesight.

With a weak eyesight as a child, Chung actually began playing tennis aged six after his doctor recommended that looking at the colour green would help. The 21-year-old has become famous for the frames that he wears on the court, but Godwin has revealed that without them he'd barely be able to see, let alone play.

"It's not good," Godwin remarked when asked how bad it was.

I've put (Chung's glasses) on and I had an instant headache ... they should come with some medication or headache tablets on the side of the glasses for anyone without a subscription," he chuckled.

But beyond the cheeky personality, the instant fame and the intense spectacles, Godwin believes there is a seriously good tennis player who is only going to get better.

"You'd have to start with his incredible court coverage and speed, that's number one," he said.

"He's very disciplined from the baseline, he doesn't give much and he doesn't make many errors. An area of the game we're trying to work on hard is get him to be a little bit more offensive as well.

"You can see how well he can defend, but defending on its own is not really good enough so he needs to learn how to step up more and be a little bit more aggressive."

Watching on in the stands tonight will be his father, Seok-Jin who is a former tennis player and now coach, his mother Young-Mi and older brother Hong, who is only days away from starting military enlistment back in South Korea.

Chung himself completed four weeks of South Korean military training in 2015 but a gold medal in the doubles event in the Asian games means he is exempt from mandatory service.

When Chung first approached Godwin about coaching him, he mainly just wanted to refine his serve.

Now, he's about to help him take on one of the greatest players ever to have lived, if not the greatest.

But Godwin believes trying to devise a plan to beat Federer is not the right approach.

"(You have to) really focus on your own stuff," he said.

"If you go out there and try to focus on what Roger is going to do, that's not going to be very fun."

"He's got so much skill and talent and he's been in this situation so many times that ... it's really simple be focused on what you can do and control what you can do."

Controlling the controlables - maybe there is a bit of Pagan in Godwin after all.

This story It's all fun and games: Chung proves a refreshing change first appeared on The Age.