More top seeds tumbled out of the Australian Open Friday in Melbourne. The big shock was Daniil Medvedev going down in straight sets to American Sebastian Korda 7-6(7), 6-3, 7-6(4).
The 2-time defending runner-up had no answer and no feel for Korda’s game. The 22-year-old Korda was in complete control of his game from the backcourt, and afterward he agreed.
“It was an unbelievable match,” said Korda told the crowd. “I kind of knew what I had to do. I stuck with it even when I was going up and down with the emotions, but I’m thrilled right now, I played amazing, and it was an unbelievable match from me.”
Korda smacked 50 winners to Medvedev’s 28. Korda’s spoke about his father’s success 25 year ago winning the Australian Open and the fact that his sisters have also won titles in Australia.
“I’m definitely the worst athlete in the family so far,” he joked.
"I'm definitely the worst athlete in the family so far." 😂
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2023
Korda came into the Australian with form having held a match point on Novak Djokovic in the Adelaide final.
“Probably one of the better matches I’ve played in my career,” he added. “Just stuck with the game plan, kept going after it. I think positive mentally throughout it. No matter what happened, kept pushing forward.”
Medvedev leaves no finalists left from last year in either draw. And he hasn’t made a Grand Slam quarterfinal since his collapse 12 months ago.
“Right now, I’m a little bit struggling to win these kind of matches against opponents that can play good level. That’s what I have to find back,” Medvedev said.
It wasn’t all a bad day in Russia v USA affairs. Karen Khachanov kept his hammerlock over Frances Tiafoe with a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(9) win over Frances Tiafoe. Khachanov is now 3-0 against the American with all wins coming in Grand Slam play.
Czech rising star Jiri Lehecka collected the biggest win of his career ousting No. 11 seed Cameron Norrie in five sets.
Earlier in the day, Stefanos Tsitsipas continued to shine cruising past Tallon Griekspoor 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-3. He’ll now meet Jannik Sinner in a tantalizing fourth round match on Sunday. Sinner had to dig out of a 2 set hole to defeat Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0. It was the Italian’s first 0-2 comeback.
Tsitsipas leads Sinner 4-1.
“For sure, I’m looking forward always for these kind of matches, knowing that he is one of the best players in the world,” Sinner said.
“But I’ve changed a little bit for sure my game. It’s going to be hopefully a good match,” he said. “This is what I practice for. We’ll see how it goes this year.”
And it was a mixed day for Canadians as Felix Auger-Aliassime won in four sets over Francisco Cerundolo while Denis Shapovalov fell in five to Hubert Hurkacz.
On Saturday, it’s a big night session with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray returning and testing their bodies. Djokovic gets Grigor Dimitrov while Murray meets Roberto Bautista Agut.
Five American men are also in action along with Australians Alex De Minaur and Alexei Popyrin.
SATURDAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCHEDULE
Laver Arena – 11:00 AM
GRACHEVA, Varvara vs. PLISKOVA, Karolina (CZE) 
GIORGI, Camila (ITA) vs. BENCIC, Belinda (SUI) 
Not before: 2:30 PM
BONZI, Benjamin (FRA) vs. DE MINAUR, Alex (AUS) 
DIMITROV, Grigor (BUL)  vs. DJOKOVIC, Novak (SRB) 
LINETTE, Magda (POL) vs. ALEXANDROVA, Ekaterina 
Margaret Court Arena – 11:00 AM
PARRIZAS DIAZ, Nuria (ESP) vs. VEKIC, Donna (CRO)
RUBLEV, Andrey  vs. EVANS, Daniel (GBR) 
SABALENKA, Aryna  vs. MERTENS, Elise (BEL) 
MURRAY, Andy (GBR) vs. BAUTISTA AGUT, Roberto (ESP) 
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