Tennis Prose



“Prince” Korda Quietly Rampaging Through Australia

By Scoop Malinowski

History indicates Sebastian Korda is destined by fate to win a major title in Australia, like his father won the 1998 Australian Open and his two sisters also won major pro golf titles on the continent.

Korda is 22 years old now and showing signs his time may be near.

This week in Adelaide Korda has rampaged through the draw, defeating Andy Murray, Roberto Bautista Agut, Jannik Sinner and red hot Yoshihito Nishioka yesterday in the semifinal 76 10 ret.

In the final Korda will face the ultimate moment of truth as he will lock horns with unofficial ATP world no. 1 Novak Djokovic. Korda sounds very eager and ready for the daunting challenge.

“I think he is so good. If Plan A isn’t working, he goes to Plan B, Plan C, Plan D. He has all these different tactics he can use against you. He reads his opponents probably the best that anyone can read,” world no. 33 Korda said. “I think it takes a big game to beat him. I think I have that type of style. Just try to go into him and try to come out on top.”

Korda has never played Djokovic in an official ATP match however he’s more than familiar with Djokovic. In my Facing Novak Djokovic book he told me he saw Novak play Radek Stepanek at the US Open live on Arthur Ashe Stadium court, when his dad Petr was then coaching Stepanek, and young Korda came to a life-changing revelation: “That’s when I realized I wanted to be a professional tennis player, not a hockey player.”

We’ll see if Korda is ready mentally and physically to slay his ultimate inspiration dragon. This Adelaide final will be a fascinating duel of three intriguing angles – premier power tennis, emotional drama and the classic showdown of the historic veteran champion “king” and the rising, striving ambitious “prince.”

(Korda artwork by Sarasota-based artist Karin Schluter Billings.)

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