Sebastian Korda: The rising US tennis star who is the ‘worst athlete in the family’
Sebastian Korda may have knocked out some of the world’s best in his run to his first Australian Open quarter-final, but the 22-year-old still says he is the “worst athlete” in his family.
Both his parents are former tennis players. Her father, Petar, won the Australian Open in 1998, while her mother, Regina Rajachartova, achieved a career-high ranking of 26.
Her sisters, Jessica and Nellie, are both professional golfers – and very good ones at that.
Jessica has won six LPGA events in her career, while Nellie Won the Women’s PGA Championship in 2021.
Speaking after defeating two-time finalist Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in the third round on Friday, Korda offered a slice of composure.
“I don’t know what I’ll be rated,” he said in a post-match interview on the court.
“But my mum had a 26-year career, my dad had two, my sister Nellie was number 1, my older sister Jessica was six, so I’m definitely the worst athlete in the family by far! ”
Korda, who is currently ranked 31st in the world, is expected to rise in the rankings after his impressive performance in Melbourne.
After defeating two-time Australian Open finalist Medvedev on Friday, he had a hard-fought win over Hubert Hurkaz of Poland to reach the quarter-final stage for the first time in his career.
He needed five-sets to get past Harkacz, however, including a nail-biting, final-set tiebreak in which he relied on some superstitions.
“The towel got me through it,” he laughed. “Every time I went to the towel, I won the point, so I kept going for it. My new friend.”
Korda is part of a new generation of American tennis players who are beginning to make an impact on the sport’s biggest stages.
However, Korda’s run in Australia came to an unfortunate end on Tuesday when she was forced to retire from her quarter-final match against Karen Khachanov with a wrist injury.
Korda was trailing 7-6, 6-3, 3-0 when he had to retire.
Korda is a former junior champion at the Australian Open and won his first and only ATP title two years ago.
He came one point away from beating Novak Djokovic at the Adelaide International on 8 January, showing his ability to get the best of him.
“The American players have pushed each other and helped each other believe they can compete close to that level,” former player-turned-broadcaster John McEnroe told Eurosport when discussing the likely winners in Melbourne this year. said in a recent interview with
“If I had to choose one, I would probably choose Sebastian Korda; He’s the youngest of the current top group of Americans and the most controversial right now.”
In addition to his talented family, Korda can also lean on the support of mentor Andre Agassi.
The eight-time Grand Slam champion has been helping his young compatriot for the past two years, during which he has become one of the most exciting prospects on the tour.
Korda said Agassi had stayed overnight in the US to watch him play his games in Melbourne and was grateful for the support.
“He is one of the most special people in my life. We started talking in 2020 during covid. He’s been one of the biggest parts in my growth,” Korda said. ATP.
“Just overall, as a tennis player, as a human being. We spend a lot of time together. Yes, he is very special to me.”
Korda takes on Russian Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals on Tuesday and, no doubt, her whole family will be watching.
However his sister Nellie has no time for her younger brother’s modesty.
“It’s complete BS,” he told reporters at the LPGA’s Hilton Grand Vacation Tournament of Champions on Saturday, when asked about his brother’s claims of being the worst in the family.
“Honestly, he’s the best. His hand-eye coordination is incredible. His swing – I’m actually jealous of his swing.
“It’s crazy. He is a leftist. He is a natural righty, but he plays golf lefty. He used to play hockey lefty. I mean, he grew up playing hockey – he was pretty good at it too.
“He skates very well, plays golf well, plays tennis beautifully.”
Although it remains to be seen how he fares in Melbourne, Korda has all the makings of the next great American star.