By Daniel Perissé
Bradenton’s Sebastian Korda had another impressive victory in his dream debut appearance at the Miami Open presented by Itaú, defeating Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and securing a place among the Men’s Singles quarterfinalists.
In Court 1, the 20-year-old beat the Argentinian 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 35 minutes. The Floridian did not feel intimidated facing his highest-ranked opponent so far and played consistently to obtain the most important win of his ATP-level career after beating World No. 9 Schwartzman.
“Yeah, I played an incredible match today. I think mentally I was great out there. I stayed calm. Even when in the tight situations I believed in myself and I went for it. I’m super proud of that. All the hard work that I have done with my team is paying off”, said the son of former World No.2 Petr Korda.
So far in Miami, Korda prevailed over No.10 seed Fabio Fognini in the second round and No.17 Aslan Karatsev in the third round. In ATP-level play, his best result so far this year was the Delray Beach Open final, in January, losing to Hubert Hurkacz.
Next for him is Russia’s Andrey Rublev. The fourth seed defeated former World No. 3 and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 22 minutes. This will be their first meeting.
“I think it will be a lot of fun. We are both big hitters, and he’s having a great season and a great whole year pretty much. He’s probably the hottest player on tour right now, and it’s going to be another cool opportunity for me and another cool experience to play such a player like him”.
The other bottom half quarterfinal clash will feature Hubert Hurkacz and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Polish displayed a high level of tennis and sealed a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) against Canada’s Milos Raonic. The 2021 Delray Beach Open winner had 14 aces and needed two hours and 20 minutes to reach his second Masters 1000 quarter final.
Hurkacz is 7-0 playing this season in the state of Florida, where he lived and practiced during a great part of 2020. “Last year I spent like over five months here. So, I got used to the weather and the conditions here, so I think that’s kind of an advantage for me.
Tsitsipas beat Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 7-6(2) in one hour and 32 minutes. This is the Greek’s third time in Miami and his first quarterfinal.
The World No. 5 has a 6-1 advantage over Hurkacz in the head-to-head series. Their last meeting was in Rotterdam this season, and Tsitsipas won 6-, 4-6, 7-5.