Korda Holds Off Shelton To Reach First Masters SF In Shanghai, Will Meet Hurkacz

by Staff | October 12th, 2023, 3:16 pm
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Sebastian Korda reached his first career Masters semifinal after a thrilling win over countryman Ben Shelton 6-7(10-12), 6-2, 7-6(8-6) in two hours, 55 minutes.

“It’s super cool,” Korda told the ATP. “I played a really high level. Ben did as well, so I think it was a really high level. We had a lot of great points out there and hopefully it’s the first of many battles that we play against each other.

“He’s such an electric tennis player and it was a lot of fun to share the court with him today.”

Korda let slip a 4-2 lead in the third, he led 6-1 in the breaker, and he missed on additional break points but held off his fellow American to continue to strong run of late. Since the US Open, Korda is 10-2 with three straight semifinals or better.

Shelton, who won five straight points from 6-1 down in the breaker, slammed 15 aces and twice came from 15-40 down in the third set to hold. This was his first Masters quarterfinal.

“I’m just thankful to stay calm,” said Korda. “I played some bad points but I always believed in myself, even at 6/6. I just thought about putting the return in the court, somehow getting my racquet on it and luckily I finished it off then.”

In the semifinals, he’ll face Hubert Hurkacz who also came from a set down in his semifinal. The Polish men’s No. 1 defeated 24-year-old Hungarian Fabian Marozsan 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Hurkacz hammered 18 aces and only face one break point after the first set.

“He came with some really great shots, and I just needed to stay positive and keep committing to the gameplan,” said Hurkacz. “To be aggressive, because if I dropped anything short he was just taking advantage of it and coming with some really incredible shots. I knew I had to stay on point today.”

Hurkacz reaches his 15th career tour semifinal, first since Cincinnati. It’s his sixth Masters semifinal.

The quarterfinals conclude on Friday wit No. 5 Andrey Rublev squaring off against No. 32 Ugo Humbert. Rublev has the better of Humbert 2-1 in their tour-level clashes winning earlier this year at Indian Wells.

No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov will challenge No. 22 Nicolas Jarry. Jarry leads that 2-0 winning in the Geneva final.

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