Sebastian Korda ousts 2-time Australian Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Sebastian Korda beat two-time runner-up Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (7), 6-3, 7-6 (4) in the Australian Open’s third round Friday night, the latest in a string of victories by young American men against top players at Melbourne Park.

Korda, the son of 1998 Australian Open champion Petr, is from Florida and seeded 29th. He equaled his best showing at any Grand Slam tournament by reaching the round of 16.

The No. 7-seeded Medvedev won the US Open two years ago and made it to the final in Australia in 2021, when he lost to Novak Djokovic, and 2022, when he lost to Rafael Nadal after holding a two-set lead.

This result comes on the heels of two other attention-grabbing victories by players from the U.S., whose men last won a Grand Slam title 20 years ago. On Wednesday, Mackenzie McDonald beat No. 1 seed Nadal. On Thursday, Jenson Brooksby beat No. 2 seed Casper Ruud. And now it was Korda’s turn to add his name to the list.

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On this night in Rod Laver Arena, it was Korda who dictated most of the points, who put his shots right where he wanted, who charged forward with verve and slick volleys. He even threw in the occasional drop shot, for good measure.

Korda, 22, compiled nearly twice as many winners as Medvedev — 50-28 — and although there were plenty of unforced errors off his racket, too, that did not hurt the American.

Korda grabbed the lead in each of the first three sets, breaking Medvedev in his first service game every time.

And with the match a fraction longer than 2½ hours old, Korda was serving while ahead 4-3, 40-15 in the third set. So close to advancing, five points away from winning.

Right there, right then, is when Korda slipped up.

After Medvedev made it 40-30 with a forehand winner, Korda got a chance to hit a seemingly simple volley to take the game. But he missed, sending the ball too long. On the next point, he netted a forehand from the baseline, his sixth unforced error off that wing in the set — six more than Medvedev at that moment. A netted backhand then completed the gift-wrapped break, and one love hold later, Medvedev had accumulated eight consecutive points to go up 5-4.

What appeared to be a turning point, though, turned out just to be a blip.

Korda raced to a 6-1 lead in the closing tiebreaker and, while he again needed to settle down after some missed chances, this time he ended things with a forehand winner.

Stefanos Tsitsipas will play Jannik Sinner in the fourth round after they advanced in contrasting victories on Friday.

Third-seeded Tsitsipas saved a set point in the second set but beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-3 to reach the last 16 at Melbourne Park for the third time in four years.

Sinner recovered from two sets down for the first time in his career as he beat Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 after 3 hours, 33 minutes, coming from 2-0 down in the fourth set to win the last 12 games in a row.

“For sure the first two sets were very tough for me,” the 15th-seeded, 21-year-old Italian player said. “I went on court with one tactic, then I had to change a little bit, going a little more to his backhand. We made a lot of work in the offseason physically so today I was good physically in the last few sets.”

Tsitsipas, the highest-ranked player left in the men’s draw following the exits of top-seeded and defending champion Nadal and Ruud, was pushed hard in the second set by the 63rd-ranked Griekspoor.

The Dutch player had a set point on Tsitsipas’ serve at 6-5 in the second set but couldn’t convert it, and Tsitsipas pulled away for victory.

Tsitsipas and Sinner have played five times, with the Greek player leading 4-1. The 24-year-old is a three-time Australian Open semifinalist and was the 2021 French Open runner-up to Djokovic. Sinner reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne last year.

Other Sunday matchups that were set: No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Jiri Lehecka and No. 18 Karen Khachanov vs. No. 31 Yoshihito Nishioka.

Nishioka was a 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-2 winner over McDonald; Khachanov saved six set points in the fourth and topped No. 16 Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9); and Hubert Hurkacz defeated No. 20 Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (3), 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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