Sebastian Korda Explains Why He Was Taught ‘To Be Like A Cat’ On Court - UBITENNIS
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Sebastian Korda Explains Why He Was Taught ‘To Be Like A Cat’ On Court

The youngster has reached the fourth round of the Miami Open on his debut.

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Plenty of analogies have been used in tennis for various reasons but American rising star Sebastian Korda has his own unique one.

The 20-year-old is a rising star of American tennis after breaking into the world’s top 100 earlier this year following his run to the final of the Delray Beach Open. A former Australian Open junior champion, Korda is currently experiencing his best ever run in a Masters 1000 event at the Miami Open. On Monday he crushed the inform Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-0, to reach the fourth round on his tournament debut.

Growing up, the world No.87 was surrounded by tennis with his father being Petr Korda and his mother is former top 30 player Regina Rajchrtová. Both of whom represented Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic but are now living in America. Korda explains that his mother taught him to act like a cat on the court in what was a direct reference to another past star of the sport.

“Both my parents always loved kind of how Stefan Edberg used to move on court, how silent he was and he was like a cat at the net,” he explained during his press conference.
“That was always my mum’s favourite thing was to always try to be smooth on the court and not make any sound and kind of just flow around the court in a way.’
“I think I played at the US Open against Shapovalov, and that was one of the things the commentators said, so that made my mum really happy.”

Due to his family connections, Korda has been able to mix with some former legends of the sport over the years. Including a training stint with eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi in Las Vegas last December. He is coached by his father on the Tour.

“I’d say I have one of the best teams around me experience-wise. I have my dad who was a Grand Slam champion, No. 2 in the world, my mum who was a top 30 player and Radek Stepanek who is like my brother, we are always in contact,” Korda outlined.
“Then to have a friend and mentor as Andre Agassi, I mean, I don’t think you can have a better team. There is a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge passing around. All I’m trying to do is just kind of keep my ears open and listen to as much of it, and hopefully I can take it and then do something with it.”

Impressively Miami is only Korda’s eighth appearance in an ATP Tour tournament in his career. He has also been playing on the lower-level Challenger Tour which he has won two titles on, including the Quimper Open in January.

The next test for Korda in Miami will be Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman who defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 6-4, in his third round match. It will be the first meeting between the two on the Tour with the world No.9 admitting that he has already been impressed by the youngster.

“He’s a young guy, playing very good tennis. I’m watching him and I think he’s similar to Berdych, how he moves, how he hit the ball,” said Schwartzman.
“He’s really young, but he’s step on court and he looks like he’s been playing for 10 years already. That’s good for him.”

Korda is one of four American men to reach the fourth round in Miami. Something that hasn’t occurred at the tournament since 2004.

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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