Mon, 06 Feb 2023

Sebastian Korda wins 5-set thriller to advance at Aussie Open

Field Level Media
23 Jan 2023, 02:40 GMT+10

No. 29 seed Sebastian Korda outlasted 10th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in five sets to move on to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Sunday in Melbourne.

"Just tried to stay as calm as I possibly could," Korda said after his 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7) victory over Hurkacz. "I'm very happy with the way I just stayed down, kept going through it, and the outcome was great."

And that included a stressful fifth set that saw Hurkacz earn two break points at 5-5. Korda, 22, also won six consecutive points during the deciding tiebreak before Hurkacz chipped away at the deficit.

"There was plenty of times where I could have just completely lost it. I lost it a little bit a couple points," Korda said. "But I just stuck with it, tried to be as positive as I can. Especially toward the whole fifth, that was my only goal."

Sunday's victory came two days after Korda upended 2021 U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev, the runner-up at Melbourne Park each of the past two years.

Korda, whose father, Petr, won the 1998 championship in Australia, will face 18th-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia for a spot in the semifinals.

Khachanov, who advanced to the semifinals at the 2022 U.S. Open, breezed to a 6-0, 6-0, 7-6 (4) win over Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan.

Also on Sunday, No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece needed five sets and four hours to topple No. 15 Jannik Sinner of Italy. Tsitsipas made 92 percent of his first serves in the fifth set en route to a 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 victory.

"I felt like I spent an entire century on this court, playing tennis. It felt so long," Tsitsipas said. "What a great night. That was superb."

Tsitsipas advanced to face unseeded Czech Jiri Lehecka, who posted a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) win over No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada.

Lehecka won 80 percent of points at the net to dispatch Auger-Aliassime in three hours, 13 minutes. The Canadian had 20 aces.

"Honestly, it feels amazing," Lehecka said. "It's tough for me to find some words because what we've been through last year and now coming back to Australia. (I lost) in the first round last year, so of course if somebody had told me before the tournament that I would play like this, then I wouldn't believe them, but I'm super happy that I'm through and I'm excited."

--Field Level Media

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