Sebastian Korda looking to shock the world at the Australian Open
The American wasn’t tipped as a candidate to win the first major of the calendar by most experts, but he is already in the quarterfinals in Melbourne.
Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Rafa Nadal, Taylor Fritz… A flurry of names to lift the Australian Open title emerged days before the start of the competition, as tennis experts and analysts started making their predictions on who were the players with the most possibilities of going all the way in Melbourne.
In most of those lists, the name Sebastian Korda was difficult to find, despite the American’s talent and skills, due to his lack of experience in big games and his irregular performances in the big games.
However, Korda, son of former tennis player Petr Korda, seems to be reaching that level and mental toughness to deal with difficult situations in big scenarios and five-setter matches.
After three hours and 28 minutes, Seb got his ticket to the quarterfinals by defeating Polish star Hubert Hurkacz in five sets (3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (10–7)) and people probably start seeing him as one of those young talents that could upset the favorites and win his first Grand Slam tournament, as Carlos Alcaraz did in the last US Open.
Can Korda match his father’s achievement of winning the AO?
The 22-year-old Korda is probably aware that Melbourne could represent his best shot at winning his first major and emulate his father’s milestone, as Petr’s only won a Grand Slam trophy throughout his career and it was the Australian Open back in 1998.
Korda, who turned professional in 2018, has so far played five singles ATP finals, winning only one of them. However, one of the finals he played was this January just before the start of the Australian Open.
The Florida native already sent a message to the tennis community when he faced Novak Djokovic in the Adelaide International final, a game he was dominating but ended up losing after Nole fought adversity and came back with a hard-fought three sets win 7–6(10–8), 6–7(3–7), 4–6.
Korda will now face the powerful Karen Khachanov for a spot in the semifinals, where he could play either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Jiri Lehecka, probably the stand-out player of the tournament.
There’s still a tough road for Korda to the title and the Australian Open is not known to be a tournament where underdogs tend to pull off the upset.
However, taking into consideration Rafa Nadal or Alexander Zverev’s surprising defeats, and the fact that Korda eliminated Medvedev in only three sets before facing Hurkacz, the American player could have more chances than expected of making history in tennis and, like his father, in Australian soil.