World no. 20 Karen Khachanov will compete in his second consecutive Major semi-final at the Australian Open. Karen led 7-6, 6-3, 3-0 versus Sebastian Korda before the young American retired due to a right wrist injury after an hour and 50 minutes.
Thus, Korda ended his great Melbourne Park run in the worst way, dealing with an injury and failing to compete until the end. Khachanov fired 12 aces and made the difference with his first serve. The Russian hit 27 winners and 18 unforced errors and took advantage of the opponent's 40 unforced mistakes.
Korda grabbed only one break and lost serve four times from ten chances offered to his rival, staying competitive only in the opening set. Khachanov built the advantage in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, playing well and hoping for more against Stefanos Tsitsipas or Jiri Lehecka.
The Russian made a great start and quickly forged a 5-2 advantage.
Karen Khachanov is the first semi-finalist at the Australian Open.
The American sprayed a forehand error in the encounter's second game to find himself behind.
Korda could not do much on the return, and Khachanov grabbed the seventh game at 15 for 5-2 in swift 22 minutes. The Russian served for the set in game nine and got broken at 15 to keep the rival in contention. Both players served well in the remaining games to introduce a tie break, and Karen moved 6-3 in front with three mini-breaks on his tally.
Sebastian saved two set points to reduce the deficit before his rival cracked a backhand down the line winner on the third for 7-6 in 50 minutes. Korda struggled behind the initial shot early in the second set, defending break points and remaining on the positive side.
He received a medical timeout on his right wrist after the fifth game and squandered a 40-0 lead at 3-3 to experience a costly break after a loose backhand. Khachanov denied break points in the next one to confirm the advantage and open a 5-3 gap.
Karen fired a forehand crosscourt winner in the ninth game to grab his second consecutive break and forge two sets to love advantage. Struggling with an injury more and more, Korda claimed only one point in the third set. He got broken at love at 0-1 and retired after the third game to propel the rival into the last four.