A HERO one moment, a villain the next.
Hyeon Chung became the crowd favourite during his miraculous Australian Open run into the semi-finals but after being forced to retire early, he drew the ire of many fans across the country.
With the match being completely dominated by the Swiss master Roger Federer, fans weren't initially buying the blister excuse from Chung.
After the retirement, Chung's team were quick to address the sad finish to the semi-final. "I can answer for him, it's like worse than regular blisters," Chung's agent Stuart Duguid said after the game.
"Over the last few days, it was blister under blister under blister. He had it shaved off, now it's red raw. They tried injections to see if it numbed the pain, it didn't work. It's much worse than a regular blister.
"I think a lot of players get calluses. As they go along, they shave them down. Because he [Chung] has played so many matches in the row, I think that's why it was a build-up. I think that's how they started."
But that didn't stop the fans on social media for slamming the game's newest star.
Chung addressed the issue in his post game press conference and revealed the painful extent of his injuries.
"I really hurt. I can't walk no more," Chung said. "I don't think about I'm not going to play today. I [am] going to play on the court. I can't finish the match, so I can't play any more."
In a post to his personal Instagram page, the 21-year-old has shared a close-up photo of his injured foot, revealing a gaping red wound that looks more like a gunshot that a blister. "Tonight, I tried very hard to bring my utmost energy to the tennis court as usual," he wrote.
. Tonight, I tried very hard to bring my utmost energy to the tennis court as usual. However, I had to make a tough decision given that I cannot compete 100% against Roger, in front of many tennis fans. Please understand. I wish all the best luck for @rogerfederer in the finals. 오늘 저녁 제가 할 수 있는 최선을 다했습니다. 경기를 포기하기 전 많은 생각을 했습니다. 많은 팬분들 앞에서,훌륭한 선수 앞에서 내가 100%을 보여주지 못 하는건 선수로서 예의가 아닌거 같아서 힘든 결정을 내렸습니다. 며칠 뒤에 있을 결승전에 로저 페더러 선수에게 행운이 있기를!
"However, I had to make a tough decision given that I cannot compete 100 per cent against Roger, in front of many tennis fans. Please understand. I wish all the best luck for @rogerfederer in the finals."
After seeing the extent of the injury, many fans were quick to reverse their stance and throw their love and support back in the rising star's direction.
It came as Chung's coach revealed that the injuries had been affecting the Korean since before the Australian Open.
"Hyeon always has calluses on his feet, which is normal, all the players have that," Neville Godwin said. "He just hadn't shaved them down far enough, so in Auckland they started blistering and bruising underneath."
Chung reportedly had to endure anaesthetising injections in both feet prior to each of his last three matches. "These are serious injections," Mr Godwin said. "Forty-five minutes before a match, and he's biting into a towel having someone jabbing his feet."
Sadly the injuries took too big of a toll and his Australian Open dream run was cut short. Despite the setback, Chung showed he will be a force on the tennis scene for a long time to come.
He really does have the world at his feet.