Federer's beautiful message to shattered Chung

Roger Federer offered wonderful words of encouragement to a heartbroken Hyeon Chung after injury forced the Korean to retire from the Australian Open.

The unseeded Korean was a set and 5-2 down against the 19-time grand slam champion when he stunned Melbourne Park and his opponent, by informing the chair umpire he could no longer continue.

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Chung was forced to take an injury timeout at 4-1 down in the second set - with trainers attending to a blister complaint on his foot.

The Korean managed to carry on through the pain for the next two games, before pulling the pin at 30-30 when 5-2 down and serving to stay in the second set.

For Federer the 6-1 5-2 passage into his seventh Australian Open final, where he'll come up against Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic, was tinged with sympathy for his stricken rival.

"Obviously I'm incredibly happy to be in the finals, but not like this," Federer said after the match.

Then in words sure to help lift the spirits of the heartbroken Chung, the 19-time major winner backed the Korean to go on and become one of the sport's next generation of superstars.

"I could tell something was wrong before he took the injury timeout, but he has a great composure," Federer said.

"He is already a great player, but we are talking next level excellence and I think he will achieve that.

"We will see much more of him. Top 10 for sure. The rest we will see.

"I don't want to put too much pressure on him. He has done very well. I can see why he beat the likes of Novak (Djokovic) and Sascha (Zverev) and all the others this week and in the past.

"I think he is going to be a great, great player."

Federer offered kind words of encouragement for Chung. Pic: Getty

Lleyton Hewitt confirmed in commentary that Chung had been battling the problem throughout the year's first major.

"It's a blisters issue," Hewitt said during commentary.

"He has had some feet issues in the locker room, before every match and on his days off getting a lot of treatment.

"He burns rubber, that is for sure."

Defending champion Federer now has a chance to lift his 20th grand slam singles title and a sixth at Melbourne Park, in Sunday night's decider against Cilic.