PARIS – Sebastian Korda had by no means received a Tour-level match coming into this yr’s French Open however on Friday the 20-year-old American prolonged his wonderful run to guide a last-16 clash in opposition to his idol Rafa Nadal.
His spectacular 6-4 6-3 6-1 victory over fellow qualifier Pedro Martinez of Spain additionally opened one other chapter for this celebrated sporting household.
He is the son of 1992 French Open runner-up Petr and brother to LPGA golfers Nelly and Jessica whereas his mom Regina was additionally a tennis skilled.
Now, he is writing his own script, though a clash with claycourt king Nadal, the 12-time champion, on Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday was most likely past his creativeness.
“Growing up, I named my cat Rafa after him. That says a lot about how much I love the guy,” Korda informed reporters whereas Nadal was on court docket in opposition to Italian Stefano Travaglia.
“I’m praying that he wins. I mean, he’s my biggest idol. He’s one of the reasons I play tennis. Just watching him play, unbelievable competitor. Just from him I have the never-give-up mentality. Whenever I’m on court, I try to be like him.
“I’ll be the happiest individual on planet earth if I do get to play him. I’m actually trying ahead to it.”
Nelly, 22, came close to winning her first major at the ANA Inspiration tournament last month and Korda said he was up until the early hours in Prague watching on television.
“She’s my finest good friend. She’s extremely supportive. She’s having a extremely good yr,” he told reporters. “I believe my coronary heart rate on the time was 87 or one thing like that. I’ve an image from it. I used to be simply utterly stressed.”
The family will no doubt be tuning in on Sunday when Korda walks out to face 19-time Grand Slam champion Nadal.
🎶 Jumpin’ Jumpin’ 🎶
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) October 2, 2020
While will probably be a large step at school, he will carry some firepower, having crunched down 48 winners in opposition to Martinez on Friday, backing up his earlier spherical win over fellow American John Isner, the twenty first seed.
After Taylor Fritz’s loss on Friday, Korda is the one American left within the males’s singles on what is just his second important draw look in a Grand Slam.
Korda’s first sporting ardour was ice hockey however he switched to tennis when he was 11. He has massive ambitions, too, saying his goal is to win yet another Slam than his dad, the 1996 Australian Open champion.
“My goal in life is to win two Grand Slams so I have one more than he has. That’s what I’m going for,” he mentioned.