Tennis Prose



Biofile: Sebastian Korda Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: ATP no. 26. Former 2018 Australian Open junior boys champion. 

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 183

DOB: July 5, 2000 In: Bradenton, FL

First Tennis Memory: “I actually hit my first tennis ball on these courts when I was three or four. With my dad. (Note: Interview was conducted at El Conquistador Tennis Club in Bradenton, FL site of the 2017 Sarasota Open ATP Challenger where he played as a wildcard and lost 1R to Blaz Rola in straight sets.)

Tennis Inspirations: “My dad (Petr) always inspired me. I always loved watching Nadal. He always inspires me. Radek Stepanek. And Marat Safin.”

Last Book Read: “Actually, Roger Federer’s book. Really loved it. And Nadal’s book. I don’t read that much. Only tennis [smiles].”

Current Car: “Ford F-150 pickup (black).”

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered (besides father of course): “Probably Radek Stepanek.”

Greatest Career Moment (so far): “Definitely winning Australian Open juniors and first ATP title in Parma (Korda did not lose a set en route to 2021 title, joining Petr Korda as third father-son duo to win a tour-level championship in Open Era – Phil/Taylor Dent, Ramanathan/Ramesh Krishnan).”

Most Painful Moment: “Being injured. There are things that you kind of have to go through as a tennis player. You learn from them and you keep going. I’m grateful for my journey right now and I couldn’t be happier to be back playing to a high level again.”

Strangest Match: “Junior Davis Cup. I was cramping. In Budapest.”

Favorite Sports Outside Tennis: “Hockey and golf.”

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: “Roger Federer, Nadal and Andy Murray.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Strawberry or vanilla.”

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “I don’t think so. Hopefully don’t have one [laughs].”

Why Do You Love Playing Tennis: “I just love the game. Always loved it since I was little. Just love competing out there. I always have a blast out on court.”

Favorite Tournaments:  “I love playing on the hard courts, especially in the US. I think it’s so much fun to play in the US. Everything’s super close. All the fans are great. It’s just really comfortable being here in a country you grew up in and everything’s just super easy. I love the US Open. I watched Radek play Novak Djokovic when I was nine years old on Ashe Stadium (Petr was coaching Stepanek then). That’s when I realized I wanted to be a professional tennis player and not a hockey player. Washington has to be one of my favorite stops definitely on tour, just kind of being here as a 12, 13 and 14-year-old kid with my dad and Radek. Just to kind of experience everything was really cool. Being in the locker room for the first time and just being around the players, I have a lot of great memories from Washington. It’s definitely very special.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Always love humor. Love to laugh.”

You can read more Biofiles like this at

(Korda artwork by Karin Billings.)

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  • Scoop Malinowski · January 30, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Really impressed by Korda. He was down early then forced the breaker. Down 2-5 in the breaker but never wilted or showed negative. Always showed a demeanor of self assuredness. Tall and rangy with very good power and elegant movement. Has every shot in his arsenal and the ability to hit stunning winners suddenly. Two time Australian open champ Johan Kriek said last week after seeing Korda play live that he will be top ten in the world. That sounds like a very generous projection but it might actually be an underestimation. Yes, Korda was that impressive.

  • Hartt · January 30, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    So another very tall youngster. What are these kids eating? 🙂

  • Dan Markowitz · January 30, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Well de Minaur not talk and he’s tearing it up. How come none of these young guys read? I guess all that home schilling doesn’t work real well. And since when is Stepanek a famous player? I like Steppy, but saying he’s famous is stretching it some. Scoop, how come you did ask Seb about his dad testing positive for PED’s and stealing Rios’ one chance of winning a slam away?

  • Duke Carnoustie · January 31, 2018 at 2:13 am

    Some notable challenger action in Burnie, Australia as Marcel Granollers beat brother Gerard Granollers in an emotional second-rounder. The brothers play doubles of course.

    Lefty Evan King is into the QFs vs. French veteran Stephane Robert. You may remember Evan nearly did the unbelievable last year and beat Sam Querrey in Mexico, where Sambrero is unstoppable.

    Frtiz v. Klahn round two all set in Dallas.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 31, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Graniollers is no longer playing dubs with Ivan Dodig? They were a good pair. I saw them beat Qball and Muller in Miami just last year.

  • catherine · January 31, 2018 at 7:50 am

    In St Petersburg Caroline Garcia gets dumped out by Rybankina – ranked 480 something and so low she doesn’t even have a photo on Flashscore.

    Garcia played so well at the end of last year and now is really struggling. Business as usual in WTA….

  • Hartt · January 31, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Someone who saw the last 2 sets of Garcia’s match wrote that the commentator said it was “scrappy.” It did go to a third set TB.

  • catherine · January 31, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Yes – I watched it live through Youtube and it wasn’t a good match. I know Caroline’s been injured – she did look a bit rusty. Hope she can work her way back into form. I’ll never forget that 3 1/2 hr match v Svitolina last year.

  • catherine · January 31, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Petra just bt Vesnina 6-2 6-0 and Kvitova was looking much sharper than at AO.

  • Hartt · January 31, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I was so glad to hear that Petra played well. Someone wrote that she was “Scary” Petra and that is a Kvitova that no one wants to meet on the court.

    Petra is one of the 3 female players who is treats eligible. Kasatkina is another, and she is still alive in the St. Petersburg tourney. I guess if forced to choose I would go with Petra. Besides, my “Petra” plant is no longer blooming and it would be lovely, especially during this grey, cold winter, to get another plant. 🙂

  • catherine · January 31, 2018 at 11:11 am

    I don’t know what I think of that Nike gear. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the players apart. But Petra looks good in it.

    Hope you can revive the Petra plant. Sounds a bit sinister. A story in there somewhere – someone who controls players’ fortunes by nourishing and killing off plants 🙂

  • catherine · January 31, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Ostapenko wins a match !

    And Angie is back in the top 10 🙂

  • Hartt · January 31, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Catherine, I am not killing off the plant! It is thriving with lots of new foliage, it just is not blooming now. 🙂

    And several of us are quite convinced that Federer has an aging portrait in his attic!

  • Hartt · January 31, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Great news that Angie is back in the top 10. That is more like it!

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Hartt; Petr is tall and his wife is quite tall also.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Stepanek won two Davis Cups and both times he closed it out in the live fifth rubber singles match, it all came down to Steps – that equals tennis legendary status. Not even Fed or Rafa or Hewitt did that. Plus he and Paes beat Bryans in Aus Open final. Step is a legend.

  • Hartt · January 31, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    I just saw the second set of Kasatkina vs Cornet in St. Petersburg. Dasha won, 6-2, 6-1. She was playing so well, good offense and good defense. She looked very determined. She was running so hard for one ball that she could not stop her momentum and had to jump on top of the court-side barrier, which is pretty high!

  • Duke Carnoustie · January 31, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Scoop and everyone,

    Stepanek is a legend on the WTA Tour as well!

  • Duke Carnoustie · January 31, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Fed is 59-5 since the start of last year’s Aussie Open.

    Can anyone stop this man?

  • catherine · January 31, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Hartt – wouldn’t want to say I’m glad Cornet lost but maybe I’ll put it that I’m glad Kasatkina won.I’m still curious about that drug test story.

    One thing about the way tennis is described now which is different from my day and which I can’t get used to – it’s this ‘offense’ and ‘defense’ business. As if it’s American football. Used to be those tactics were part of everyone’s game and you didn’t describe them like that. You could use variations of both in the process of playing one point.
    I suppose things started changing when power tennis came in. I don’t know.

  • Michael in UK · January 31, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Haha, thanks for the laugh there Duke!

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Watching Klahn vs Fritz in Dallas. Klahn was up a break in third 32 but Fritz broke back with by zeroing in on Klahn backhand which is now only offering neutral slices. Fritz is dominating that BH now and at the right time going to the FH and forcing Klahn to hit the running fh which he is not as good at as when he's set up he really clouts a heavy FH. Fritz should win this, for second win in four days vs Klahn.

  • jg · January 31, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    And what happened to Tiafoe, losing to Mac Mac, Mac is playing well but Tiafoe needs to win that match routinely, after this tournament Fritz will leapfrog Tiafoe. I predicted last month Fritz would make a run up to Indian Wells. Tiafoe May have to play qualifying.

  • Chazz · January 31, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Jg, Fritz has already passed up Tiafoe by about 15 spots or so in the rankings. I watched some of that Tiafoe-McDonald match. ‘Foe is just hitting too many errors right now with some untimely double faults mixed in. McDonald was steady but Foe is in a rut right now. His confidence has to be at an all time low.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    McDonald is red hot right now jg. Tiafoe is struggling with his game and confidence. McDonald has a big time coach in Wayne Ferreira and he came within a set of beating Wawrinka in Melbourne. I saw several matches of McDonald late last year and he's hitting the ball hard and his serve is a weapon. Double Mac is a rising force right now.

  • Chazz · January 31, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    I think the real question is whether Fritz will surpass Young and Donaldson this year. Both are within striking distance.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 31, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Chazz, I think Fritz has an excellent chance at being in the top four or five American group very soon. Sock, Querrey, Isner, Harrison, Johnson…I can see Fritz busting into that echelon soon.

  • catherine · February 1, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Oh and I heard Nike’s offer to Simona H was around 2 mil. If true, someone dropped the ball there before AO.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 1, 2018 at 5:18 am

    Mac Mac didn’t play Wawa at AO, he played Dumitrov and nearly beat the Bulgarian going pretty deep into the fifth set. Mac Mac and Fritz are the best of the young Americans early in 2018. Donaldson has seemed to falter too. Having Ferreira on Mac Mac’s side is a big plus. These South African coaches like Ferreira and Godwin with Anderson are looking good.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 1, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Correction Dan. Sandgren, Fritz and McDonald are the best Americans so far this year.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 1, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Scoop, meant to say young Americans. I think Kudla and Harry don’t qualify anymore as young Americans, and that’s makes Sandgren, a year older than both at 26, definitely not qualify as a YA.



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