Khachanov Continues Russian Charge; Reaches Wimbledon QF In Five-Set Thriller
Russia’s Karen Khachanov reached his first Wimbledon quarter-final on Monday as he twice fought back from a break down in the final set to move past #NextGenATP star Sebastian Korda 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 10-8.
The 25th seed, who hit 45 winners and 19 aces against the American, had led by two-sets-to-one and a break in the fourth set before coming through in five. There were 13 breaks exchanged in the final set, with Khachanov failing to serve out twice before finally recording victory in three hours and 51 minutes.
“With the nerves, you have 13 breaks in the fifth set,” Khachanov said. “When you are returning better, you start to read the serves better. Then in the rallies, both of us were more stressed. In the end, the one who dealt better won the match. It was more about this than who played better.
“I think this year, I have had many close matches like this, and for me, I think it is one of my most important wins. I am super happy. Once you are in the quarter-finals, expectations go up. I will try to prepare well [ahead of facing Denis Shapovalov] and hopefully it will be a good match.”
Khachanov was joined by fellow Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev in the fourth round at SW19. If Medvedev or Rublev also advance on Monday, multiple Russian men will reach the quarter-finals at The Championships for the first time in the Open Era.
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Khachanov reached the semi-finals at the Great Ocean Road Open in Melbourne (l. to Sinner) and the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon (l. to Norrie) this year. The 25-year-old will next face Canadian Shapovalov after he beat eighth-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
Korda made a fast start, racing to a 4-1 lead as he pulled the Russian from side to side, stepping into the court confidently to dictate. He fired 17 winners in the first set as he moved ahead.
In a tightly contested second set, Khachanov grew into the match, winning 89 per cent (16/18) of his first-service points as he pegged the American back behind the baseline. He then converted his second set point in the 10th game, hammering a forehand into Korda’s backhand which he was unable to return.
Fuelled by momentum, Khachanov continued to dominate in the third set as Korda started to struggle with a thigh strain. The World No. 29 struck the ball aggressively on his forehand and did not face a break point in the set.
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Khachanov broke early in the fourth set but was pegged back by Korda, who then showed great determination and defence to clinch the set. There were 13 breaks exchanged in the decider, with Khachanov squandering a match point while serving at 5-4. He finally clinched victory on serve in the 18th game to advance.Korda, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Monday, was making his debut at The Championships this year. He started the season at No. 119 in the FedEx ATP Rankings but is now up to No. 50 and will rise further. The American also reached the fourth round at Roland Garros in June and had never played in a fifth set before today.