Australian Open: Sebastian Korda edges Hubert Hurkacz for first Major QF


Playing his ninth Major event in a career, the young American Sebastian Korda is through to his first quarter-final. Sebastian prevailed over Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 in three hours and 28 minutes, claiming the last three points in the match tie break to emerge over the top. Hurkacz fired 19 aces and more winners than his rival. However, he sprayed too many errors, including those in the decisive moments in the closing stages. The opening four sets saw a one-sided scoreboard, and they stayed neck and neck in the decider to keep the crowd at Rod Laver Arena on the edge of their seats. Both players delivered three breaks, and Korda claimed just two points more than Hurkacz. The Pole made a better start, serving well in the opener and providing an early break. Sebastian sprayed a forehand error in the second game and netted a backhand in the next one to fall 3-0 behind. Hubert moved 4-1 up with a booming serve and forced the rival’s mistake in game seven for 5-2.

Sebastian Korda defeated Hubert Hurkacz in five sets.

The Pole served for the set at 5-3 and produced a hold at 15 to build an early advantage after 34 minutes. Sebastian raised his level in the second set, delivering one good hold after another and waiting for a chance on the return. Hurkacz survived two break points in the fourth game before placing a forehand wide two games later to find himself 4-2 behind. Korda wrapped up the set with a smash winner in game nine, leveling the overall score and gaining a boost. The American was too strong in the third set, taking charge and mounting the pressure on the other side. Hubert sprayed a backhand error in the first game to experience a break, and Sebastian delivered another at 2-0 after the rival’s wayward forehand. Korda held for 5-1 and served for the set in game eight. Sebastian saved two break points and clinched the first set point for two sets to one advantage after an hour and 45 minutes. With no room for errors, Hubert shifted into a higher gear in the fourth set, serving well and delivering two breaks.

The Pole broke for 3-1 and claimed five straight points in game six to grab another break and extend the advantage. Hurkacz sealed the set with a service winner in game seven, forcing a decider after two hours and 24 minutes. Both players served well in the fifth set’s opening ten games for 5-5. Korda faced problems in game 11 and defended two break points in the encounter’s pivotal moment. They went into a deciding match tie break, and Sebastian came from 3-1 down to build a 7-4 advantage. Hubert made one last push and climbed back to 7-7, hoping for more in the following points. Korda struggled with his backhand in those moments, but he endured an extended rally and grabbed the 15th point with a smash winner. The American earned two match points with a service winner and seized the first at 9-7 with a backhand down the line winner for his first Major quarter-final. 

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