Korda out to emulate father after stunning Medvedev at Australian Open

Sebastian Korda stunned two-time losing finalist Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open on Friday as he stepped up his bid to win the same tournament his father Petr did 25 years ago.

The 31st-ranked American, whose sisters Nelly and Jessica are champion golfers, blasted past the seventh seed 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) on Rod Laver Arena to race into the last 16.

Korda's upset teed up a clash with Polish 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz -- who battled past Canada's Denis Shapovalov in five sets -- for a place in the quarter-finals.

"An unbelievable match, I sort of knew what I had to do and I stuck with it even when I was going up and down with the emotions," said the 22-year-old Korda, adding that his game plan was "just go for it".

Korda's father won the Australian Open in 1998 and his sisters have both won the Australian Open golf tournament, making it a happy hunting ground for his family.

Korda is a former junior champion at Melbourne Park and wants to go one better.

"My dad always loved coming here and playing, both my sisters love coming here. It's a special place for us, we have had some great results," he said.

"Hopefully I can go one better than the juniors and do it in the pros."

Medvedev was a losing finalist at the last two Australian Opens, to Novak Djokovic in 2021 and then in a demoralising five-set defeat 12 months ago against Rafael Nadal after leading by two sets.

He was attempting to become only the fourth man in the Open era to reach three consecutive Melbourne Park finals after Djokovic, Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl.

But that quest is now over as he joined defending champion Nadal, second seed Casper Ruud and eighth seed Taylor Fritz as high-profile first-week casualties at the season-opening Grand Slam.

Djokovic remains in the hunt for a 10th title, but has a hamstring injury and confessed on Thursday he was "worried" it could derail his tournament.

For Medvedev, 26, it was a low-key and disappointing exit in tune with his recent dip in form.

"Right now I'm a little bit struggling to win these kind of matches against opponents that can play a good level. That's what I have to find back," said the former world number one.

"Matches like this are tough because what I can say is that he played his good level, maybe a little bit better than his good level."

- Aggressive -

Korda displayed his credentials when he pushed Djokovic to the brink in the Adelaide International final this month, earning a championship point before the Serb rallied to win in three close sets.

He started aggressively against the higher-ranked Medvedev, earning four break points in an 11-minute opening game before putting one away to take an early edge.

The Russian had minor treatment on his right hand at the changeover before Korda consolidated for 2-0.

The American dominated from the baseline in some lung-busting rallies and broke again for 4-1, before the Russian came roaring back with two breaks to level it up at 4-4.

It went to a tiebreak with Korda converting on his third set point after an 85-minute slugfest.

Korda, coached by former Czech star Radek Stepanek, broke early again in the second set with Medvedev having no answers this time.

He began the third in the same vein, breaking immediately as the Russian wilted under the onslaught.

Medvedev again rallied to take it to another tiebreak before exiting the tournament at the earliest stage since 2018.

mp/pst