On Saturday 27th January 2018, Sebastian Korda won his biggest match yet. Final of Boys singles Australian Open, one of four most valuable tournaments in the world. Celebration on the court reminded the famous celebration done by his father Petr Korda 20 years ago at the same place. Korda’s scissor kick jump is just a tiny funny detail in the incredible but still developing story of the Korda tennis family.
Petr Korda – young and talented Czech
Petr Korda was born on 23rd January 1968 in Prague, Czech Republic (at that time, it was Czechoslovakia). He started his tennis career at the local club Sparta Prague. It took just a few years before everybody recognized talent in skinny Czech. He won his first big tournament in 1985 at Paris French Open Boys doubles (together with Cyril Suk). In that same year, they also won Junior World Championship in Doubles, and the following year Petr Korda won Wimbledon 1986 Junior Doubles with Tomas Carbonell. Nobody was surprised when next year, 19-year-old Petr Korda started his professional career. It really looked that a new tennis star was born.
Petr Korda – tennis star is born
Just three years as a pro, he stayed on his favorite clay surface in the final again. Petr Korda and Goran Ivanisevic lost to Spaniards Casal and Sanchez-Vicario in two sets in the French Open 1990 Doubles final, but Petr definitely set his mark in pro tennis. In 1992 he put his foot on clay at the same place at the same position. But this time, it was the Singles final of the French Open 1992. He lost in three sets with Jim Courier, but it looked that it is just a question of time for Petr Korda to become a Grand Slam winner.
Six years of waiting
However, it took six more years before we saw Petr Korda in Grand Slam Final again. Six years after his first Doubles final performance, in the 1996 Australian Open, in pair with Stefan Edberg, they beat Canadian duo Lareau, O’Brien 7-5 7-5 4-6 6-1.
And again, six years after his first Singles final, we saw him in the Singles Grand Slam final. The year 1998 and Petr Korda celebrates his first (and only) singles Grand Slam triumph. He beat Marcelo Rios 6-2 6-2 6-2 and showed his „Korda scissor kick“ to the world in Melbourne. He ranked as high as no.2 in ATP Rankings after the Australian Open 1998, and the attack on the number one position was his ultimate task for coming spring.
Petr Korda touched the stars just to be burned.
On his 30th birthday, he was at the top of his tennis career. Nobody knew that the fall down would be so quick and harsh.
During the spring, there were two matches when he could capture the number one position in the ranking. He lost them both, but the biggest loss came during Wimbledon 1998. He was tested positive for Nandrolone steroid in concentration 20 times higher than the benchmark set for Nandrolone.
At first instance, he was stripped of money and points earned at Wimbledon and suspended for one year. Later after his appeal, the suspension was withdrawn. However, massive disapproval between other players led the International Tennis Federation to reissue the former verdict, and Korda never returned to professional tennis.
Triumph at Australian Open 1998 was his biggest and also last tournament win. What could be a sad story of one tennis player who reaches the top and then falls to the floor have an unbelievable continuation?
Korda Family – golf & golf & tennis
Petr Korda married former Czech tennis player Regina Rajchrtova in 1992.
They have three children, Jessica (born 1993), Nelly (1998), and Sebastian (2000). All three kids are representing the USA, even with Petr keeping his Czech citizenship and passport. Jessica and Nelly are professional golf players. Sebastian plays tennis like his father and mother.
Petr Korda, who fully supported his children in sports, was the caddy of Jessica during U.S. Women’s Open 2008 when Jessica was 15 years old finished at 19th place. In 2013, he did the same for Nelly during another U.S. Women’s Open. Both girls are still successfully playing golf at the pro level.
Sebastian Korda – new tennis star is born?
Sebastian Korda is trying to build his pro career in tennis like his father. Currently, it looks, he is on the right way to level or even overcome the successes of his father. Starting with the big win in Boys Singles at the Australian Open exactly 20 years after his father Petr reached the top of his career at the same tournament, Sebastian’s career looks promising. But the road to stars just starts for Sebastian.
Two years after Sebastian Boys Singles win in Melbourne, his career became a serious thing in 2020.
He won his first three best of five grand slam matches in Paris (October 2020) to finish in the 4th round of the French Open. Then he won two ATP Challenger tournaments (Eckhental in November 2020, Quimper in January 2021) and recorded his first final appearance at ATP Tournament (Delray Beach in January 2021 – lost with Hurkacz).
Sebastian Korda is currently at 87th place of ATP Ranking, and I strongly believe it is just a start for him.
https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petr_Korda – in Czech
https://sport.idnes.cz/petr-korda-rozhovor-tenis-dcz-/tenis.aspx?c=A170714_210128_tenis_tof – in Czech https://sport.pravda.sk/tenis/clanok/455819-ked-kucera-dobyjal-australiu-hnal-ma-zial-za-mamou/ – in Slovak