Sebastian Korda’s Australian Open campaign may have ended in injury disappointment on Tuesday in Melbourne, but the 22-year-old’s post-match mindset did not reflect that.
“There are a lot of positive things,” said Korda, who came down two sets and a break to Karen Khachanov in their quarterfinal clash before retiring with a wrist injury at Rod Laver Arena. “Far more positive than negative. Today was tough, but hopefully it’s nothing too serious and I can take care of it so I don’t have it in the future.
,[It was] still a great tournament [for me], My first quarterfinal at a Grand Slam. I’m going to hold my head high and keep working.
Korda had taped his wrist at 3–2 in the second set against Khachanov and had struggled to hit his forehands since then. He eventually retired with his opponent leading 7–6(5), 6–3, 3–0, and it was later revealed that it was a recurrence of a problem he had first suffered during the championship match at the Adelaide International 1. had experienced January.
“I had a bit of it in Adelaide a couple of weeks ago, but then it went away,” said the American. “During the matches [in Melbourne], it was absolutely fine. Then just kind of mishit came back, and after that it started bothering me a lot.
“I knew what it was, right when I hit the return. I felt the spot I was feeling before. Some forehands I couldn’t even hold the racket. Volleying was almost impossible for me. So It was a bit difficult.
The unfortunate development ended a stellar run for the 22-year-old at Melbourne Park, where he beat Christian Garin, Yosuke Watanuki, Daniil Medvedev and Hubert Hercz to reach his maiden Slam quarter-final.
“I mean, you obviously feel good on the court,” said Korda, when asked if he expected an actual title after a series of impressive wins in Melbourne. “You’re obviously playing against good opponents, you’re beating opponents, and you definitely feel good about yourself. You know, the more you play, the better you feel.” .
“I was just playing some really good tennis. I know probably nobody wanted me to play right now. I really believed in myself the whole time.
The straight sets win against Medvedev stands out among his four wins this fortnight. Korda demolished the two-time Australian Open finalist with a near-flawless third-round display of all-court tennis, a statement win for a player who moved up six places to No. 25 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings Is. Melbourne exploits and sets himself up for a new career.
,[I have] I have a lot of confidence now,” Korda reflected. “I’ve always been very close to winning big matches, but now I’m able to overcome them. I think it’s a huge lesson I’m learning going forward. I’m proud of me.
“Going forward, I’m going to keep trying to do the same things, stay in the same mindset mentally. You know, I think I can do some pretty big things in the near future.
Korda was one of three Americans to reach the quarterfinals in Melbourne, the first time since 2005 that three American men have reached the last eight at a Grand Slam. One of his countrymen, Tommy Paul or #NextGenATP star Ben Shelton, will go a step further, with the pair set to face off in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
One of 10 American men now in the top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP Live rankings, the 22-year-old Korda acknowledged the camaraderie among the current crop of ATP Tour talent from his homeland. Despite his quarterfinal exit, he kept hopes alive for an American champion in Melbourne.
“Undoubted [tennis is] Individual, but we also have Davis Cup,” Korda said. “I think with the group we have, I think we can do really well in the near future. We are all really good friends. I’m good friends with Tommy and I’m starting to be good friends with Ben too.
“I wish them all the best. They are going to have a great match, and hope they can go all the way.