Korda’s first Grand Slam quarterfinal is made possible by a lucky towel

American Sebastian Korda beat Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 3-6 6-3 6-2 1-6 7-6 at the Australian Open.

Korda defeated Daniil Medvedev (2022 and 2021 runner-up) in the third round. However, the match started poorly on Rod Laver Arena, against Hurkacz (2021 Wimbledon semi-finalist), but the 29th seed rebounded to win the second and third sets.

Hurkacz (10th seed) won the fourth set. He also earned 2 break points in the fifth at 5-5. But Korda managed to keep his cool and escape from the chaos before the pair entered a tie-breaker.

After winning six points consecutively, Korda led 7-3 in the tie-breaker. But Hurkacz came back and leveled the score at 7-7

After nearly three hours of court time, Korda didn’t panic and won the backhand match.

It feels amazing. “It feels amazing. I wasn’t feeling energetic towards the fourth or fifth sets, but you guys (the audience) picked me up,” Korda stated in an on-court interview.

“I did my best to remain calm. It was hard, but it made me feel very content. I just kept on going and didn’t lose sight of the goal. It was a great outcome.”

After Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan beat him in straight sets in the tiebreaker, the 22-year-old will now face Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals.

I got superstitious about the towel. He laughed and said that the towel helped him through. He laughed, “Every time I reached for the towel, I won the point,” he said.

Korda becomes the third American in the Australian Open quarter-finals since Andy Roddick did it last year. Frances Tiafoe and Tennys Sandys both reached the final eight.

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