Sebastian Korda has reached the final of the Delray Beach Open by Vitacost.com at the expense of Cameron Norrie, defeating the British No.3 in straight sets to reach his first final at an ATP Tour event.
I’m fired up right now, I couldn’t be happier Sebastian Korda
The 21-year-old American, son of the Czech Australian Open champion Petr Korda, required just 90-minutes to deliver the 6-3 7-5 defeat on the Briton ranked 45 places higher on the world standings.
The unseeded Korda was never under any threat throughout though Norrie, also unseeded, did make a slight recovery towards the end of the second set when he saved two match points in the tenth game to level at 5-all but couldn’t prevent the young American from progressing into the final two games later.
“I’m fired up right now, I couldn’t be happier,” Korda said during his on-court interview.
“[Norrie] has a super tricky game. His backhand cross is world class, and his forehand once he gets it rolling cross court is hard to defend. I’m super happy with the way I stayed aggressive and played the whole match,” he added.
Korda will have to get past the fourth seed, Hubert Hurkacz if he is to as leave Delray Beach as champion, the Pole having terminated the qualifier Christian Harrison’s fairy tale run to the semi-finals 7-6(4) 6-4.
“Christian was playing very well,” Hurkacz said. “He was serving tricky. He was slicing and kicking and then placing the ball really well. So I was struggling with that, especially the first set.”
Harrison, aged 26 and ranked 789, was making his first semi-final appearance having been hindered over the past decade with a series of injuries requiring eight separate surgeries while Hurcacz, who will turn 24 in February, will be contesting his second tour final.
“It’s a great start to the year,” Hurkacz, world ranked 35, said. “I’m looking forward to playing the final.
“Very happy to win this match today, I mean, Christian played pretty amazing throughout the whole tournament.
“He qualified here and had his best results on the ATP Tour. Especially after all he came through, all the surgeries, it’s really great for him. He played a really amazing match.”
Harrison’s loss came on the day he was also fined $3,000 for not wearing a mask when attending a compulsory on-court interview following his quarter-final victory.
Last week he had questioned the wearing of masks on social media, saying: “Healthy enough to play 3 hour matches. But I’m an absolute safety hazard walking maskless through a restaurant.”
Following his interview he posted on Instagram that he was not aware it was mandatory to wear one for TV interviews.
He added that the ATP supervisor had told him that the fine would be rescinded if he appealed and promised to follow tournament rules even if he did not agree with them.
“After my 2nd rd match I chose not to do my post match interview due to wearing a mask. It’s not healthy to wear a mask in the hot sun for more time than absolutely necessary after a tough match. I was given the impression it was optional. I wasn’t told I would be fined,” Harrison explained.
“That night I was told it is a requirement for TV matches and I would be fined. When I spoke to the supervisor the following morning, I was told since I wasn’t notified that it was mandatory, I could appeal the fine and it would be taken away. Unless something changes now, I still believe that to be true.
“I was required to do a sit-down interview after the match with the same person which I agreed to and I did not have to wear a mask for it. It’s not about safety to wear mask for TV to talk to a microphone with no one around.
“Playing the tournaments I’ll follow whatever is required even if I don’t agree with it. I don’t support masking people for the sake of it for TV.”