Wimbledon 2021: Sebastian Korda on family dynasty and preparing to face Dan Evans (2024)

Sebastian Korda watched his sister win the Women's PGA Championship huddled around a mobile phone in a London hotel room.

The celebrations were muted. No champagne corks were popped, just an emotional catch-up on FaceTime. That's because Korda had a tournament of his own to prepare for - the small matter of his Wimbledon debut.

Meet the Kordas - a clan so far removed from your average family.

Sebastian Korda is 20, ranked number 50 in the world on the ATP Tour. The baby of the family, he has two older sisters. Nelly, 22, is now the best female golfer in the world, while 28-year-old Jessica is way down... in 13th. Both are Solheim Cup players.

The talent at sport doesn't stop there. In fact, it starts with the American siblings' Czech parents, who are former professional tennis players themselves. Their father Petr Korda is a former world number two who won the 1998 Australian Open while mum Regina Rajchrtova reached a career-best ranking of 26th.

It's a bewildering amount of sporting prowess in the same family.

  • What is making Centre Court so slippery?

  • Federer's epic victory over Sampras, 20 years on

Some parents may grow tired, covertly if nothing else, of ferrying their children from one sporting fixture to another. One to football, one to rugby, the other to the pool, with barely a second to draw breathe in between.

But that has been normal family life for the Kordas, who are now largely on the road. Petr is in London with Sebastian, while Regina was in Atlanta with their daughters for the Women's PGA, the third major of the year. They would "take the shirts off their backs" for their children, says Nelly.

It was barely a day after his sister's success that Korda stepped on to the lush grass of Wimbledon for the first time, upsetting Australian 15th seed Alex de Minaur in the first round.

His sisters, he said, were "super-pumped" back home but it was Nelly's achievements that had spurred him on.

"My sister did something super incredible, winning a major at 22-years-old and becoming the number one golfer in the world," he tells BBC Sport.

"We always dreamed about it ever since we were little kids, she's two years older than me and she's basically my best friend.

"To finally see her achieve it was incredible."

Nelly tells BBC Sport: "It's surreal. I got back home and the first thing I did was watch my brother play. I was more stressed out watching my brother than playing on Sunday. My heart rate was at 160."

On Wednesday, he beat French qualifier Antoine Hoang in the second round and will face British number one Dan Evans on Friday on Centre Court.

He only made his Grand Slam debut at Roland Garros last year, progressing to the fourth round, and won his first ATP title in May, but he's already been dubbed 'America's best hope in years' in men's tennis.

Korda's progress has been helped by a stellar cast in his corner. As well as his parents, he can count Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf - with 30 Grand Slam singles titles between them - as hitting partners.

He grew up travelling around the world with his father, who coached Andy Roddick and Radek Stepanek, so being at major tournaments was second nature.

That experience perhaps explains his cool demeanour and the fact he does not seem fazed by the platform he finds himself on.

"[There's] no pressure at all. I've been around tennis all my life," he says.

"It was always my dream to be here and play these big tournaments, so there's no pressure at all. I'm doing what I love and I couldn't be more grateful for it.

"I've probably got one of the best teams on the ATP Tour, that's for sure. I have Andre Agassi in my corner, my dad is a Grand Slam champion, my mum was a top-30 player, [I have] Dean Goldfine, who has coached numerous top-10 players.

"I have a great group around me and I'm trying to take as much in as I can, stay positive and just keep doing the right things."

The Kordas realise the interest in their family but you sense it's like water off a duck's back. External pressure, if it exists, doesn't bother them - but there's no harm in a little sibling challenge.

"There's a little competition in the family," Korda says. "My sister won the first tournament of the year, then I won my first title of the year, and then two weeks later my other sister won her first tournament of the year."

Nelly sees it differently. "We constantly push each other to strive for more. My parents had such good building blocks for us."

Korda will face Evans - ranked 26th in the world and seeded 22nd - in the third round at Wimbledon, with Evans looking to reach the fourth round of his home Slam for the first time.

Korda is only too aware that the crowd will not be on his side; a home favourite versus the new kid on the block.

It will be the first official meeting between the two, but they are fully aware of each other's games.

"I'm really looking forward to it, especially because hopefully we will play on a big court here at Wimbledon. It would be a dream come true," Korda says.

"I've practised with Dan a good amount, especially last year during all the bubbles, we practised in New York quite a bit.

"It's going to be a new challenge and a new experience for me.

"It's always super fun playing someone who plays a different kind of tennis - serve and volley, coming in, chipping and charging.

"It's fun to play against, it's fun to watch, and hopefully we can put on a good show for everybody."

  • Gaming can improve your mental health: Here are five titles to help you escape

  • Grounded with Louis Theroux: Why isn't Frankie Boyle a fan of Ricky Gervais?

Wimbledon 2021: Sebastian Korda on family dynasty and preparing to face Dan Evans (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 6412

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Birthday: 1996-01-14

Address: 8381 Boyce Course, Imeldachester, ND 74681

Phone: +3571286597580

Job: Product Banking Analyst

Hobby: Cosplaying, Inline skating, Amateur radio, Baton twirling, Mountaineering, Flying, Archery

Introduction: My name is Kimberely Baumbach CPA, I am a gorgeous, bright, charming, encouraging, zealous, lively, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.