Last Updated: January 20, 2023, 22:10 IST
Sebastian Korda shocked two-time dropping finalist Daniil Medvedev on the Australian Open on Friday, including the Russian to a rising checklist of prime seeds crashing out early.
The 31st-ranked American, son of 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda, blasted previous the seventh seed 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) on Rod Laver Arena to race into the final 16.
Korda’s upset teed up a conflict with Polish 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz — who battled previous Canada’s Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 — for a spot within the quarter-finals.
“An unbelievable match, I type of knew what I needed to do and I caught with it even once I was going up and down with the feelings,” said the 22-year-old Korda, adding that his game plan was “just go for it”.
“I’m thrilled proper now, I performed wonderful.”
Medvedev was a losing finalist at the last two Australian Opens, to Novak Djokovic in 2021 and then in a demoralising five-set defeat 12 months ago against Rafael Nadal after leading by two sets.
He was attempting to become only the fourth man in the Open era to reach three consecutive Melbourne Park finals after Djokovic, Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl.
But that quest is now over as he joined defending champion Nadal, second seed Casper Ruud and eighth seed Taylor Fritz as high-profile first-week casualties at the season-opening Grand Slam.
Djokovic remains in the hunt for a 10th title, but has a hamstring injury and confessed on Thursday he was “worried” it might derail his event.
Korda displayed his credentials when he pushed Djokovic to the brink within the Adelaide International ultimate this month, incomes a championship level earlier than the Serb rallied to win in three shut units.
The Florida native bounced again to assert a pair of victories in Melbourne in opposition to Cristian Garin and Yosuke Watanuki earlier than assembly former world primary Medvedev.
Korda began aggressively, incomes 4 break factors in an 11-minute opening sport earlier than placing one away to take an early edge.
The Russian had minor therapy on his proper hand on the changeover earlier than Korda consolidated for 2-0.
The American dominated from the baseline in some lung-busting rallies and broke once more for 4-1, earlier than the Russian got here roaring again with two breaks to stage it up at 4-4.
It went to an exhilarating tiebreak with Korda changing on his third set level after an 85-minute slugfest.
Korda, coached by former Czech star Radek Stepanek, broke early once more within the second set with Medvedev having no solutions this time.
He started the third in the identical vein, breaking instantly because the Russian wilted beneath the onslaught.
Medvedev once more rallied to take it to a different tiebreak earlier than exiting the event on the earliest stage since 2018.
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