Australian Open: Karen Khachanov makes it to semi-finals

Russian Armenian tennis star Karen Khachanov advanced to his second consecutive Grand Slam semi-final on Tuesday night after Sebastian Korda retired in the third set of their Australian Open matchup with a right-wrist injury, ATP Tour reports.

The 18th seed was leading 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-0 after winning seven straight games following a medical timeout for the American midway through set two.

Khachanov won a hard-fought opening set, regrouping with a strong tie-break after failing to serve it out at 5-4. He then saw three break points go begging early in the second set as he stayed on top with his consistent baseline game.

“For sure, back-to-back semi-finals in a Grand Slam feels great,” he said in an on-court interview. “Obviously not the way you want to finish the match. I think until a certain point it was very competitive, a very good battle. Sebastian beat one of my friends, Daniil [Medvedev], in three sets and won in five sets against Hurkacz. He is playing great tennis.

“I’m feeling good, to be honest. I’m really happy about my level, about the way I compete, and looking forward to the semi-finals here in Australia for the first time,” Khachanov said.

By reaching the Melbourne quarters, Khachanov became the 10th active male player and the 50th in the Open Era to reach that stage at all four Grand Slams. He has now won his past two major quarter-finals after his run to the semis at the 2022 US Open.

“I think I kind of reinvented myself,” he said of his recent form. “I always believe in myself but there are always ups and downs, and sometimes when you have a great result it just shows you what you are capable of and then you start to believe more and more. This belief and self-confidence I think appeared much stronger after the US Open. I made a few semi-finals already so I hope to continue that way and to grow as a person and as a sportsman.”

Khachanov will seek his first Grand Slam final when he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas or Jiri Lehecka, with that quarter-final set for Tuesday evening in Rod Laver Arena.

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