With a fighting win over Ben Shelton, the American has advanced to the first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal of his career. It marks a huge step forward after Korda's momentum was significantly disrupted by a wrist injury early in the year.
"I played an incredible match, Ben did as well. I think it was really high level It was a lot of fun to share the court with him today," the 26th seed said after overcoming Shelton 6-7(10) 6-2 7-6(6).
"We had a lot of great points out there and, hopefully it's the first of many, many, many battles that we play against each other. He's such an electric tennis player."
The two-hour, 53-minute victory included an epic first set featuring an 18-minute tiebreak, with Korda's composure especially impressive after he surrendered a set point.
But signs of Korda's spirit were already plentiful. Shelton served for the first set before Korda forced the tiebreak, the younger American holding four set points and at last securing the opener with his ninth ace.
Where Shelton's concentration subsequently wavered, Korda steadied. He took a 3-0 lead in the second set and while he dropped one service game of his own, was never seriously challenged as he converted three break points to secure the set.
The third set became another extended battle, Shelton clawing his way back from a 2-4 deficit to level in the eighth game. There was another dramatic turning point as he gained a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak, only for Shelton to save five match points.
"I was thankful to stay calm, for sure. I played some bad points but, you know, I always believed in myself, even at six-all," Korda said when he at last secured victory with a forehand volley, his 33rd winner of the match.
"I just thought about putting in the return to the court, somehow getting my racquet on it. And yeah, luckily I finished it off."
Adding to a semifinal appearance in Zhuhai, and a finals campaign in Astana, Korda will take impressive momentum into his final-four clash with Hubert Hurkacz.
Poland's top male player is celebrating back-to-back ATP Masters 1000 semifinal appearances, and a first in Shanghai, after a hard-fought win over Fabian Marozsan.
Hurkacz worked hard to stop a giant-killing run from world No.91 Marozsan - an earlier winner over No.11 seed Alex de Minaur and No.8 Casper Ruud - before emerging with a 4-6 6-1 6-3 victory.
After dropping the first set, the 16th-seeded Hurkcaz raised his aggression against Marozsan, who was contesting only the second ATP Masters 1000 tournament of his career. He seized full control of the second set after breaking Marozsan's serve in the third game.
The challenge kept coming from 24-year-old Marozsan, with Hurkacz's persistence best demonstrated when he won a thrilling 40-stroke rally in the sixth game of the final.
Hurkacz secured a break in Marozsan's next service game, going on to complete his victory in an hour and 43 minutes.
"I was playing some really great shots and I just needed to stay positive and keep coming (back) to the game plan and be aggressive," Hurkacz said having recorded 18 aces among 39 winners. "I'm really happy with the way I fought."