The rising star from America, Sebastian Korda, is in his first ATP final at the 2021 Delray Beach Open. Looking back, the 20-year-old talked about his trip to Las Vegas and training with tennis legend Stefanie Graf last year.
Before starting his 2021 season, Korda hired the American great Andre Agassi. Fortunately for Korda, Agassi’s wife and 22-time Grand Slam champion Stefanie joined them in training.
Korda, who made a run through the fourth-round at the 2020 French Open, doubted himself standing opposite Graf. However, what came out from the experience was a much more resilient athlete.
Taking on the courts in Vegas, Sebastian ended up in front of the former World No. 1. As soon as he did, the American felt the aura of a legend.
“I was on court a couple of times with Steffi, I didn’t want to play with her,” Korda revealed. “I was way too intimidated by her.”
It wasn’t the long list of Steffi’s achievements, but her impeccable gameplay that made the American uncomfortable. “Her forehand crosscourt was just killing me so I was like ‘I can’t do this anymore’,” he said.
The junior 2018 Australian Open winner learned a lot from the German in the time that he spent with her.
“She would give me some tips on the court and the energy that she brings every single day,” Sebastian added. “You just knew that she was such a competitor, she’d get mad at herself when she missed, she would skyrocket, it was awesome to see her on court, it was super special.”
Next up, the American will face the Polish best Hubert Hurkacz in the Delray Beach Open finals in Florida. He defeated compatriot John Isner a second time to reach the finals after he first defeated him at French Open in the second round. Both Korda and Hurkacz are equally equipped to take home the title.
Sebastian explained that he wants to continue what he started in 2020, which was playing and training with big names. Adding to that, he said that he wants to focus only on one tournament at a time.
“I’m 20 years old and hopefully I can play tennis for ten, fifteen-plus years,” he expressed. “It’s a long road and I’m in no hurry.”
Tennis fans will see a bright future in hands of the American player. Let us see if we get to see his father’s iconic scissor kick in the finals.