Seb Korda gets another huge win at the Australian Open
American Sebastian Korda said his fourth-round Australian Open win over Hubert Hurkacz was an early birthday present for his father Petr, who won his only Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park in 1998.
Photo: ANTHONY WALLACE
Young gun Korda defeated Polish 10th seed Hurkacz 3-6 6-3 6-2 1-6 7-6 (10-7) in a thrilling contest, reaching the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.
After the win, Korda said he spoke to his family back home in the United States.
"It's difficult, but I always got their time on my watch. That's been helping a ton," the 22-year-old told reporters.
"My parents, they were up... just got off the phone with them. They're going to try to go to bed. My dad's birthday is tomorrow here. Early birthday present in a way."
Korda, who will next face Karen Khachanov, said every time he walks to Rod Laver Arena, he reaches out for the picture of his father Petr and compatriot Andre Agassi, who won three titles at the season-opening Grand Slam.
"Every single time I walk by, I always give him like a little fist pump. Kind of makes me feel like they're with me in a way," Korda said.
"I always know that they're watching. They're both very special for me. They helped me a ton. Maybe I was just trying to get the energy so I could hit my backhand a little better," he said with a smile.
Sunday's victory came on the back of a straight-sets victory over 2021 and 2022 runner-up Daniil Medvedev out in the third round.
Korda said he has raised his level by learning from mistakes while playing big names such as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and taking advice from his parents.
"I think I've had a tough match with Rafa, serving for it couple times. Match point with Djokovic. I think that really helped me, especially in the last match with Medvedev, closing out that tiebreaker. Then today as well," he explained.
"I think all those little moments that I've gone through, kind of learning from them, staying patient, staying positive, going through the process I think have really helped me going forward.
"Yeah, definitely those kinds of losses hurt the most. But my parents and the people around me are really big to just keep going, you're doing great, just stay positive and stay the course."Czech newcomer Lehecka high on belief after Australian Open heroics
Jiri Lehecka said he had the game to go to higher places after the unheralded Czech stunned Canadian sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Australian Open on Sunday to reach the quarter-final of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.
The unseeded 21-year-old made his main draw debut in all the four majors last year and lost in the first round but has been a revelation at Melbourne Park, beating 11th seed Cameron Norrie in five sets and downing Auger-Aliassime 4-6 6-3 7-6(2) 7-6(3).Tsitsipas feels at home in Melbourne
Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas described the Australian Open as his "home slam", saying the conditions in Melbourne remind him of the Attic Peninsula.
Tsitsipas, a three-time semi-finalist at the Australian Open, reached the quarter-finals on Sunday after he held firm to beat Italy's Jannik Sinner 6-4 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-3.Azarenka back in Australian Open quarters after seven-year wait
Former world number one Victoria Azarenka reached her first Austalian Open quarter-final for seven years as she fended off China's Zhu Lin 4-6 6-1 6-4 in the early hours of Monday.
Azarenka, twice a winner of the title in Melbourne, started slowly and lost the opening set but stormed through the second to take the fourth round match into a decider.
Neither player could hold serve in the third set but Azarenka's greater experience finally pulled her through.