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Khachanov Tops Korda for First Final of Year in Zhuhai

Karen Khachanov of Russia used a seven-game run to defeat Sebastian Korda and reach his seventh career final in Zhuhai. EPA-EFE/RAY ACEVEDO

Eager to reach his first final of the year, Karen Khachanov was in no mood to play the waiting game.

The top-seeded Khachanov slashed through one streak to snap another.

Reeling off seven straight games, Khachanov stopped Sebastian Korda 7-5, 6-4 to storm into his seventh career final at the Zhuhai Championships today.

Khachanov snapped a five-match losing streak in semifinals reaching his first ATP final since he was runner-up to Gael Monfils at Adelaide 1 in January of 2022.

The 15th-ranked Russian converted four of nine break points in a one-hour, 50-minute victory.

The hard-hitting Khachanov improves to 26-12 on the season. Khachanov will face either compatriot Aslan Karatsev or Japanese left-hander Yoshihito Nishioka in tomorrow’s final.

Since Khachanov’s run to the Roland Garros quarterfinals last June, a back injury limited Khachanov to just one match—a straight-sets loss to Michael Mmoh at the US Open—prior to his arrival in Zhuhai.

Striking cleanly and thumping the ball with confidence, Khachanov too command with that seven-game surge.

The Korda-Khachanov semifinal was a rematch of the 2023 Australian Open quarterfinals that Khachanov won when Korda retired trailing 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-0.

Playing for his first final since Adelaide last January, Korda took a 5-4 first-set lead today.

Then Korda lost the range on his forehand and Khachanov fired with depth and pace. Khachanov stormed through seven straight games transforming that 4-5 first-set deficit into a one-set, 4-0 lead.

The Korda forehand grew so unruly at one point, he shanked a forehand that sailed near the chair umpire’s seat. Korda looked down and out, but finally stopped his spiral holding in the fifth game of the second set.

When Khachanov shoveled a forehand approach long, Korda gained his first break for the first set for 2-4.

The former junior world No. 1 slammed an ace and serve winner—two of his heaviest serves of the set—holding firm for 3-4 and shifting pressure back on Khachanov’s shoulders for the first time in the second set.

The Australian Open semifinalist regrouped and ripped his fourth ace down the middle holding for 5-3.

Serving for the final, an assertive Khachanov slammed down a smash for triple match point.

When Korda caught the net with a backhand down the line, Khachanov was through to his first final in nearly 19 months. Khachanov carries a 4-2 career finals record into tomorrow’s title match.