Since his breakthrough run to the Spherical of 16 at Roland Garros final 12 months, Sebastian Korda has claimed two ATP Challenger Tour titles, reached his maiden ATP Tour championship match and cracked the Prime 100 within the FedEx ATP Rankings.
Alongside fellow #NextGenATP stars Jannik Sinner, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Lorenzo Musetti, the American has already made his mark on the ATP Tour this season. Korda believes one of many keys to his early-season success has been his individuality.
“I’ve been doing my very own factor,” stated Korda. “Nearly everybody went to Australia to play qualifying and I selected a special path. For my improvement, it was tremendous huge to get plenty of matches beneath my belt, particularly after two months of pre-season which is uncommon for us. To this point, it has labored out and hopefully I can hold the momentum.”
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As a part of one of the profitable households in sport, Korda isn’t instantly identified for his individuality. Because the son of former World No. 2 Petr Korda and former WTA Prime 30 participant Regina Kordova, and the brother of Prime 25 LPGA golf stars Nelly Korda and Jessica Korda, Sebastian’s achievements are sometimes introduced within the wider context of his household.
When requested to outline what makes him completely different from the remainder of his household, Korda highlighted how the trail he has taken to search out success has formed him as an individual.
“I benefit from the little issues somewhat greater than most individuals,” stated Korda. “I’ve been on the lowest tournaments and that has helped me respect issues much more. My sisters jumped proper into it. I wasn’t on the prime as quick as everybody else, so I believe I respect issues somewhat bit extra.”
Other than the apparent benefits of rising up in a profitable sporting household, Korda famous that the success of his sisters has typically supplied him with the additional motivation he has wanted to climb the FedEx ATP Rankings. The Florida native reached a career-high No. 62 on 12 April.
“[Their success] undoubtedly motivates me. My sister gained a event the week earlier than I gained a event, so I used to be watching her and seeing how fired up she obtained. It motivated me to play higher and he or she is a giant assist,” stated Korda. “I believe me successful a event and my older sister successful a event motivated my different sister, Nelly, to win her event. There may be household competitors, somewhat bit and we push one another.”
When he isn’t watching his sisters make waves on the golf course, Korda can typically be discovered watching his personal sport. The Delray Seaside runner-up is a eager scholar of the sport and has taken nice inspiration from Rafael Nadal, the person who ended his run to the Spherical of 16 at Roland Garros final 12 months. After their maiden ATP Head2Head assembly in Paris, Korda acquired a signed match shirt from Nadal.
“I watch plenty of tennis. Just about each single day I’m watching one thing on TV,” stated Korda. “There may be all the time plenty of inspiration, particularly from a man like Nadal. He has all the time been an inspiration for me [with] the way in which he carries himself on court docket, how skilled he’s and the way humble he’s. It’s a huge inspiration for me. Hopefully he can hold taking part in tennis. I’d like to get one other alternative to have the ability to play him.”
One of many occasions that has caught Korda’s consideration on TV has been the Subsequent Gen ATP Finals in Milan. This 12 months, the two-time ATP Challenger Tour titlist will try and grow to be the fourth American to qualify for the revolutionary 21-and-under occasion.
“I’d all the time watch [the tournament] on TV. [There have been] some unbelievable matches,” stated Korda. “Considered one of my favorite years was when Sinner gained. He was taking part in some unbelievable tennis and that propelled his profession.”
Korda’s spectacular begin to 2021 has put him in a powerful place to qualify for the event. The 6’5” right-hander is at present in third place within the ATP Race To Milan.
“I’d like to play Milan,” stated Korda. “It could be tremendous superior and it will undoubtedly be a reward for having 12 months and plenty of the exhausting work I’m placing in. If I get the chance to play in Milan, it will be actually cool.”
Korda isn’t the one American chasing certainly one of seven automated qualification positions for the event. Jenson Brooksby (fifth) and Brandon Nakashima (ninth) are additionally within the operating. Korda and Nakashima performed two doubles occasions as a group final 12 months, together with the Western & Southern Open.
“I’m fairly good mates with Brandon Nakashima,” stated Korda. “We’ve performed some doubles as nicely and we’ll attempt to play some doubles sooner or later. He’s an excellent good individual and he’s somewhat bit like me, critical on court docket after which off the court docket, he’s a very nice man that I’ve obtained to know fairly nicely. Hopefully, we will play some extra doubles collectively and have friendship.”
Other than a spot within the Milan subject, Korda has additional targets for 2021 and past. Whereas his greatest want could have to attend for a future season, the American has his sights set on a FedEx ATP Rankings milestone this 12 months.
“I’d like to win a Grand Slam this 12 months, however there may be plenty of highway forward,” stated Korda. “Considered one of my greatest targets is to complete the 12 months [in the] Prime 50.”