Korda said he could barely hold a racket coming out of the Australian Open | Aici

MELBOURNE – Sebastian Korda said he could barely hold the racquet before retiring from Tuesday’s Australian Open quarter-finals, but despite the setback is confident of “big things” ahead he.

The 22-year-old American suffered a serious injury in the second set against Russia’s Karen Khachanov and retired 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 3-0.

He said he first felt the injury while playing this month’s Adelaide International, where he made the final and forced a tie for the championship before being beaten by Novak Djokovic.

But that didn’t bother him in the opening four rounds at Melbourne Park until he came back in the second set.

“I had it in Adelaide and then it went away completely. Now it’s back from nowhere,” he said. “I’ve never had a problem before.

“I knew right away what it was, as soon as I got to the return. I kind of felt the same place I used to feel.

“Some forehands, I can’t even handle the run. It’s almost impossible for me to volley, so it’s kind of tough.”

Despite the pain of the loss, it was the Australian Open for Korda, who reached the Grand Slam quarterfinals for the first time.

Along the way he stunned two-time champion and seventh-ranked Daniil Medvedev and world number 10 Hubert Hurkacz.

“There’s a lot of negatives. I mean, negatives, even negatives,” he said.

“Today was tough, but hopefully it’s nothing serious and I can take care of it so I don’t have it in the future.

“Still a great tournament. The first quarterfinal of a Grand Slam. You know I’m going to keep my head up and keep working.”

Korda, whose father Petr won the title in 1998, said he took personal confidence from pushing Djokovic hard in Adelaide and beating top 10 players in Melbourne.

“I’m very confident now. I mean, I’ve always been close to winning majors, but now I’m just passing them,” said the American, whose sisters Nelly and Jessica are both champion golfers.

“I think that’s a great lesson that I learned, and I’m really proud of myself.

“I’m just going to try to do the same thing, continue the same mindset. You know, I think I can do something really big in the near future.”

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