Two-time finalist Daniil Medvedev has seen his Australian Open title hopes ended for this year after the Russian suffered a shock defeat to American rival Sebastian Korda in Melbourne on Friday.
The misfiring Medvedev was beaten in three sets, 6-7 (7-9) 3-6 6-7 (4-7), in just under three hours at Rod Laver Arena as the eighth seed was outplayed by his 22-year-old rival.
For Korda, who is the son of Czech former Australian Open champion Petr Korda, the performance was another sign of his burgeoning potential following a run to the final of the Adelaide International earlier this month. Seeded 29th in Melbourne, Korda will next face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in what appears to be an increasingly open section of the men’s draw following the exit of an injury-hit Rafael Nadal on Thursday.
Medvedev, meanwhile, will rue an early departure from a tournament at which he has gone all the way to the final in the past two editions – losing a five-set epic to Nadal last year and being beaten more comprehensively by Novak Djokovic in 2021.
Medvedev spent a total of 16 weeks as world number one in 2022, but is set to drop outside the ATP top 10 following his disappointing performance in Melbourne. Despite topping the ratings last year, the 26-year-old Russian has endured mixed fortunes in recent months and has not struggled to fully recapture the form that saw him win a maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in September 2021.
There was, however, success for Russia in the men’s draw earlier on Friday in Melbourne when number 18 seed Karen Khachanov defeated American 16th seed Frances Tiafoe in four sets, 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9), to set up a last-16 match against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.
Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev also remains in contention, and plays Britain’s Dan Evans in their third-round contest on Saturday.
You can share this story on social media: