Four hours and 47 minutes of demanding labor was required by Sebastian Korda to squeak past Corentin Moutet Wednesday at the Australian Open in front of a vigorous Court 8 crowd, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5, 7-6 (10-6).
There were plenty of moments to revel in. There was outstanding shot-making and digs out of considerable trouble from both sides; and even an audacious selfie pursuit from a fan just before the deciding 10-point tiebreaker began—whom Moutet blissfully obliged. Yet when asked by the moderator to pinpoint a standout moment at his start of his press conference, Korda gave a candidly relatable response.
“The end,” he laughed. “The end. Yeah, long match. Second ever five-setter. Definitely nice to win it.”
The 21-year-old won his tournament debut against Cameron Norrie in resounding fashion, dropping just seven games to the No. 12 seed, but 48 hours later, a meeting with another left-hander morphed into an all-out street fight. With both challengers encouraged by those watching, Korda finally raised his fist in triumph when the scoreline was confirmed in his favor.
“The crowd was so good. Basically from the first point of the match, they were chanting,” he said. “They were getting wild and it was really nice. It was a great atmosphere on a small court, which was really cool.”