Khachanov reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open after Korda retired


Karen Khachanov reached her second consecutive Grand Slam semi-final on Tuesday when Sebastian Korda retired from an Australian Open injury, ending the American’s dream of emulating his father Peter’s 1998 title run.

Korda needed treatment for a wrist injury in the second set of the quarter-finals before being called off when he trailed 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 3-0 against the 18th-seeded Russian at Rod Laver Arena.

Khachanov’s reward was to face third-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas or unseeded Czech Jiri Liska, who plays next, for a place in Sunday’s final.

The victory equals the 26-year-old’s best performance in a major tournament after his run to the semi-finals during the US Open last September, where he lost to Norway’s Casper Ruud.

The Olympic silver medalist, who has won four titles at Tour level, has come into the match with far more experience at this point than a Grand Slam tournament than Korda, having reached the last eight in all four Grand Slams.

In contrast, 22-year-old Korda was in his first quarter-final.

Khachanov also had a much easier run in the fourth round, as he beat Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in straight sets while Korda advanced in a five-set thriller against Hubert Hurkacz.

“I think up until a certain point it was a tough competition, a very good fight,” said Khachanov.

“He beat my friend Daniil (Medvedev) in three sets and won in five sets against Hurkacz so you know he’s playing great. So applause for him.

“I feel good to be really honest and happy about the way I compete,” he added. “I’m looking forward to the semi-finals here in Australia for the first time.”

Khachanov, who reached his career eighth No. 1 in 2019, opened with a slick serve, then cruised into an easy break to make it 2-0 as Korda’s early nerves showed.

The American finally went off target to hold the score at 3-1 when Khachanov hit a forehand cross up the court.

But with the Russian firing aces and winning more than 90 percent of his first serve, break opportunities were few and far between.

However, a wayward backhand while Khachanov was serving the set gave Korda his first break point and he grabbed it with both hands.

It went to a tie-break, where Khachanov pulled his nerve, closing it in on the third set point with a powerful backhand down the line.

Korda needed a treat on his right, serve, and wrist to make it 3-2 in the second set. He came back with it tied up but it was immediately broken.

The Russian held on and as Korda struggled, bending his wrist between the two points, he broke back to take a two-set lead.

Korda left the court at the change, clearly in trouble. He continued but lost the opening 10 points of the third set before retiring.

MP / PST



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