Australian Open 2023 Results: Instant Reactions to Friday's Winners and Losers
The biggest win of Sebastian Korda's career sent the latest shockwave through the men's singles draw at the 2023 Australian Open.
The 29th-seeded American ousted Daniil Medvedev in straight sets on Friday in Melbourne. The Russian was viewed as the favorite to reach the men's final from the top half of the bracket after Rafael Nadal exited the tournament in the second round.
However, Korda played a confident three sets against the 26-year-old and claimed a 7-6, 6-3, 7-6 victory.
The American, 22, finished off the game with a 7-4 win in the third-set tiebreak.
This was the latest in a set of triumphs for U.S. men in the tournament, and five unseeded players from the country are set to feature in the third round on Saturday.
Korda is the lone American man left in the top half of the draw, which is wide open now with Nadal and Medvedev out of the tournament.
The top part of the women's singles draw is loaded with the stars of the game. Iga Świątek and Jessica Pegula have been the most dominant players so far among a group of previous major champions and semifinalists.
The pair seem to be headed for a semifinal battle after facing each other twice in grand slams last year.
No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Tallon Griekspoor, 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-3
No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime def. No. 28 Francisco Cerundolo, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
Sebastian Korda def. No. 7 Daniil Medvedev, 7-6 (7), 6-3, 7-6 (4)
No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz def. No. 20 Denis Shapovalov, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3
Jiri Lehecka def. No. 11 Cameron Norrie, 6-7 (8), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
No. 15 Jannik Sinner def. Marton Fucsovics, 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0
No. 18 Karen Khachanov def. No. 16 Frances Tiafoe, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9)
No. 31 Yoshihito Nishioka def. Mackenzie McDonald, 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-2
No. 1 Iga Świątek def. Cristina Bucsa, 6-0, 6-1
No. 3 Jessica Pegula def. Marta Kostyuk, 6-0, 6-2
Zhu Lin def. No. 6 Maria Sakkari, 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-4
No. 7 Coco Gauff def. Bernarda Pera, 6-3, 6-2
No. 24 Victoria Azarenka def. No. 10 Madison Keys, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1
No. 22 Elena Rybakina def. No. 13 Danielle Collins, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
No. 17 Jelena Ostapenko def. Kateryna Baindl, 6-3, 6-0
No. 20 Barbora Krejčíková def. Anhelina Kalinina, 6-2, 6-3
Sebastian Korda Upsets Daniil Medvedev
Sebastian Korda produced the performance of his life inside Rod Laver Arena.
The 22-year-old knocked out Daniil Medvedev, the 2021 and 2022 Australian Open runner-up, in straight sets.
Korda approached the match with a fantastic game plan that kept his Russian opponent guessing for the entire contest.
The youngster showed a bit of nerves in the third-set tiebreak, as he lost his first three match points, but he composed himself and did not let the 2021 U.S. Open champion get back into the match with a set victory.
The win placed Korda in the fourth round of a major for the third time in his career. He has not advanced to a quarterfinal yet.
The Bradenton, Florida native's win broke open the top half of the draw, which was supposed to be dominated by Medvedev and Rafael Nadal, but now both players are out of the tournament.
All of the pressure should shift to Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is the highest-seeded player left in the top half.
The No. 3 seed has been to the semifinals in three of the last four Australian Opens. He lost to Nadal and Medvedev twice in those matches.
Félix Auger-Aliassime, Jannik Sinner, who is Tsitsipas' fourth-round opponent, and Hubert Hurkacz are among those who will try to take advantage of the open bracket and land in a final.
Korda faces Hurkacz next in the easier part of the top half, while Tsitsipas has to defeat Sinner and then Auger-Aliassime to reach the last four.
Korda and Hurkacz reside in the same quarter as Karen Khachanov and Yoshihito Nishioka. Hurkacz and Khachanov have one Grand Slam semifinal appearance each, but those are all the second-week accomplishments of that group at a major.
Korda will be one of three U.S. men guaranteed to be in the fourth round. Tommy Paul and Jenson Brooksby play each other on Saturday, as do J.J. Wolf and Michael Mmoh. Ben Shelton takes on Alexei Popyrin in a battle of unseeded players.
One of those five Americans could go on a magical run to the semifinals since Roberto Batista Agut is the only seed left in that quarter. Andy Murray is looming as a threat, but he has to get past the Spaniard first.
If everything goes well for the American men, there could be two semifinalists from the U.S.
Iga Świątek, Jessica Pegula Continue Dominance
Iga Świątek and Jessica Pegula continue to be the two most dominant players in the women's singles draw.
The top-seeded Świątek blew past Spanish qualifier Cristina Bucsa on Friday, losing a single game in the process. The Pole has now dropped just six games in her last four sets in Melbourne.
Pegula cruised past Marta Kostyuk with a similar dominance. The American lost two games in her third-round match, but she has won five of her six sets in Melbourne by a score of 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2.
Świątek and Pegula appear to be on a collision course in the semifinal round, but there are some tough tests ahead for both.
Five of the women left in the top half of the bracket have won Grand Slam titles. Świątek takes on Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the fourth round, while Pegula faces 2020 French Open winner Barbora Krejčíková.
Experience is not on the U.S. player's side. She is one of two women left in the top half of the draw who has not been to a Grand Slam semifinal.
The 28-year-old was a three-time major quarterfinalist in 2022 and has reached that stage in the last two Australian Opens.
Pegula is in the best form of any player in the world right now. That could help her overcome the disadvantage in experience she would face against Krejčíková and likely Victoria Azarenka before a potential semifinal against Świątek.
The Pole was only beaten twice in grand slams last season. She will be tested more in the fourth round, but she has made some matches against top opponents look easy at this level.
Świątek dropped one set after the fourth round in her two major victories in 2022, and she beat Pegula in straight sets in the quarterfinals of both majors she won last year.
A potential semifinal clash between No. 1 and No. 3 seeds would pit two of the best in-form players against each other, and the match would come with a built-in storyline of Pegula trying to overcome the world's top player on a major stage.