Tennis Prose



2021 Breakout Stars Korda and Karatsev To Clash in Miami

The two 2021 breakout stars in the ATP will clash today in the third round of Miami Open.

Karatsev has exploded out of obscurity to 27 in the world based on winning Doha and reaching the semis at AO. The 27 year old has built a 13-2 record on the year.

Korda, age 20, is now ranked 87 and 8-3 on the year, not counting five Challenger wins for winning Quimper in January.

Korda and Karatsev have played once already, in the third round of 2020 Roland Garros qualies, won by Korda 75 62.

But that was still the old, unknown version of Karatsev, who is a completely different player now with many more valuable wins and lessons learned under his belt. Of course Korda has gained a lot more experience since last fall also.

So this will be an intriguing matchup between two emerging superstars who both are on the fast track to threatening for Grand Slam titles.

Just three years ago I saw Karatsev play and lose early at the Sarasota Challenger when it was held at Laurel Oaks Country Club. That same year I played a practice match with a friend during the Saturday before main draw began and on the next court Sebi Korda was practicing with his father and coach Petr Korda. How much things have changed in the three following years.

Now Korda and Karatsev have evolved into extraordinary forces on the verge of doing major damage at some of the biggest ATP tournaments.

My prediction is a repeat win for Korda in three sets.

(Korda acrylic painting by Sarasota-based artist Karin Billings.)

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  • Kordafan · March 29, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for your positive articles on Sebastian Korda. He’s a special talent with amazing potential.

  • Gaurang · March 31, 2021 at 7:08 am

    So Korda won against Karatsev 3 and 0. And then he defeated top 10 player Schwartzman.

    Korda seems like the best young American tennis player I have seen in the last 20-25 years.

    I believe he is the best since Sampras and Agassi.

    He is better than Roddick, Sock and Isner.

    He will stick around in top 10 for a long time, making occassional visits to top 5.

    The competition in top 10, top 20 is very tough and is getting even tougher with rise of more young stars globally.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 31, 2021 at 7:50 am

    Mr. Gaurang, I fully agree with you but I think Korda is even better than your projections. He and his father/coach have not even scratched the surface yet on his potential. I think Mr. Djokovic had better keep an eye on this lad starting now.

  • Gaurang · April 1, 2021 at 9:02 am

    Scoop, I sure hope so.

    But competition in top 10 is really tough, probably more than it’s ever been.

    You have the Big 3, the Next 5 (Medvedev, Theim, Tsitsipas, Zverev, Rublev), and rising stars like Sinner, Felix Auger, Berrettini, and oldies like Agut, Karatsev, etc. All these are really really tough players.

    Korda has a bright future in top 10, how close to top 3 he reaches would depend on how he conquers these beasts. I feel it will on and off and hence my prediction is that Korda will visit top 5 occasionally. I would be really if Sebastian can get to #1!!!

  • Gaurang · April 1, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Tomorrow we will see him fight against Rublev. I expect Rublev to win, but Korda will learn a lot. Which will help him give Rublev a tougher fight next time they play.



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