10:00 PM GMT March 29, 2021
The #NextGenATP American charged past Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-0 to become only the third player to defeat the Dubai champion this season. Korda is the first player outside the Top 5 to beat Karatsev this year, with the Russian’s two previous losses coming at the hands of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and World No. 4 Dominic Thiem.
“It is super special [to reach the Round of 16], especially playing a guy who was as hot as he was,” said Korda. “I just took the tactics that I used [against him] at Roland Garros and it worked out really well today.”
Korda claimed five service breaks throughout the match and dropped just three points behind his first serve (18/21) during the 67-minute encounter. Karatsev, who has played with unrivalled baseline aggression this season to reach the Top 5 in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, committed 31 unforced errors throughout the match.
“I stuck with my tactics throughout the whole match, stayed calm and stayed positive. It is a good win,” said Korda.
Korda’s win against Karatsev is the latest milestone in a memorable debut Miami appearance. The 20-year-old earned his maiden ATP Masters 1000 win in the first round against Radu Albot and claimed the biggest win of his career in the second round against World No. 17 Fabio Fognini.
The 6’5” right-hander, who is the son of former World No. 2 Petr Korda, has produced his best tennis in his home state this season (7-1). In his opening tournament of the year, the Bradenton native advanced to his maiden ATP Tour final at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com (l. to Hurkacz).
“[Diego] is going to be a tricky opponent, for sure,” said Korda. “Hopefully I can get some rest and play a good match against him.”