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Sebastian Korda vs. Karen Khachanov pick


We are at the business end of the Australian Open, and there are a couple of surprise players one win away from a trip to the semifinals at the first Grand Slam of the 2023 season.

One of those surprise packages is American Sebastian Korda. On talent alone, it’s not a shock that Korda got this far. Still, considering that he was drawn into the ‘Quarter of Death’ with Rafa Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Frances Tiafoe, and Hubert Hurkacz, it is quite an accomplishment for the young American. 

Can Korda continue his ascent by punching a ticket to his first slam semi on Monday night? The match is set to begin around 10 p.m. ET and air on ESPN.

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Karen Khachanov plays a forehand during the fourth round singles match against Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan
Karen Khachanov plays a forehand during the fourth round singles match against Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan
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Australian Open prediction: Korda vs. Khachanov (10 p.m. ET, ESPN)

While Korda will be hunting for his first trip to a grand slam semifinal, Karen Khachanov is looking for his second consecutive final four at a major. Khachanov emerged out of the quarter of death at the 2022 US Open, upsetting Nick Kyrgios in the quarterfinals before falling to Casper Ruud in the semis. 

And it seems like the tennis world didn’t really learn all that much from Khachanov’s run in Flushing, because the Russian came into the Australian Open as an under-the-radar outsider and wasn’t given much of a chance to make a run in Melbourne.

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But what makes Khachanov such a terrific player, especially in these grueling best-of-5 matches, is that he’s just solid. He may not be spectacular at any one part of the game, but the 26-year-old does almost everything well. He’s physically strong, he can go the distance in marathon matches, and he doesn’t make many mistakes from behind the baseline. 

The fact that Khachanov rarely loses the plot and beats himself makes him a dangerous underdog in a matchup with a player who may have a higher ceiling – but also a much lower floor.

While Korda’s form is undeniable at this point – he lost to Novak Djokovic in three sets in the final at Adelaide 1 and now has beaten Daniil Medvedev and Hubert Hurkacz in this tournament – he’s never been in this spot before, and he’s also coming off a grueling five-set thriller against Hurkacz in the last round. Khachanov, meanwhile, made incredibly quick work of Yoshihito Nishioka in the Round of 16. 

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Korda’s form — and the fact that he’s American — is driving up the price in a match that is essentially a coin flip. Take the plus-money on the experienced, solid Khachanov to stop Korda’s roll in the quarterfinals.

Sebastian Korda vs. Karen Khachanov pick

Karen Khachanov +115 (BetMGM)


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