After back-to-back wins inside Rod Laver Arena, Sebastian Korda shed some light on what’s become a key moment of his pre-match preparations.

Published Jan 22, 2023
Sebastian Korda has risen to the occasion to reach his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal. But as it turns out, there might be a little magic at work, too.
Arriving on-court for his Round 3 match against two-time defending finalist and No. 7 seed Daniil Medvedev, Korda was caught on camera tapping his father Petr’s pillar in the hall of champions that leads to the entrance to Rod Laver Arena.
Through divine intervention, inspired play, or both, Korda beat Medvedev in straight sets.
Why fix what’s not broken? On his way to taking court against Hubert Hurkacz in Round 4, Korda did it again … and he won, again.
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After winning a five-set epic in a deciding 10-point tiebreak against Hurkacz, Korda was asked by reporters about the tap seen ’round the world.
Q. Looked like you touched your dad’s pillar there in the walk to Rod Laver. Somebody told me they also saw you reach for Andre’s. Is that something you’ve done in the past when you’ve been to Rod Laver? I don’t know if you were able to as a junior.
SEBASTIAN KORDA: No, every single time I walk by, I always give him like a little fist pump. Kind of makes me feel like they’re with me in a way. I always know that they’re watching. They’re both very special for me. Yeah, they helped me a ton.
Maybe I was just trying to get the energy so I could hit my backhand a little better (smiling).
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Korda is the third American man to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals in the last 13 years, since Andy Roddick reached the last eight in 2010. For a spot in the semifinals, he’ll face No. 18 seed Karen Khachanov — the man who famous beat him, 10-8 in the fifth set, at Wimbledon two years ago.