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Father’s faith in Sebastian Korda: “If I don’t find a way to fuck it up, Seba will be better than me”

Petr Korda
Petr Korda y Sebastián Korda, más de una década atrás // ig: @sebastiankorda
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Petr Korda was the second best tennis player in the world. On the men’s tour, he seconded Pete Sampras for 14 weeks. The 1998 Australian Open champion once made a prediction. That his son will be better than him. In other words, that Sebastian Korda be number one and a Grand Slam winner.

“If I don’t find a way to fuck it up, Seba will be better than me,” Korda Sr. told his manager. A very close friend. Chilean Patricio Apey, also the manager of the entire clan.

As he recounted to CLAY in an in-depth interview, in the 2000s together they empowered the Korda dynasty. A very successful family in sports, whose great referents of the new generation are the golfers, sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda.

“Around 2006, Jessica, their eldest daughter needed clothes, clubs, so I gave him a hand. That time she started winning everything at the junior level in the U.S. and all the big golf agents started chasing her: IMG, Octagon… he asked me for advice, and at the end at one point he told me why don’t I manage her. That’s when I told him, ‘Yeah, look, but I believe in the whole family, not just Jessica’. That made a difference,” explained Apey.

Nelly Korda is the best in the world, with two majors to her credit, including the recent Cevron Championships an Olympic gold at Tokyo 2021. Jessica won six LPGA tour titles, and made it the world No. 11

“Petr was telling me ten years ago, ‘Everybody talks about Jessica, everybody. And they’re stupid. Because Nelly is going to be so much better,’” Apey detailed.

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The Korda siblings: Jessica, Nelly and Sebastian Korda

In fact, Sebastian was until recently “the worst athlete in the family”, as he himself joked without telling lies. His mother was 26th in the early 1990s. Sebastian surpassed Regina Rajchrtová’s best mark only in 2023. In October he reached the 23rd place, his best ranking so far.

Apey revealed the Czech’s method of getting his son used to “real tennis,” where he would mess up his socks and sometimes get confused with bounces that change the trajectory of the ball.

“He is genius, he is crazy. He had crazy methods. For example, he wouldn’t allow Sebastian to play on hard courts. Maximum one tournament a month. He would make him train on clay because he wanted him to really learn how to play tennis.”

Petr Korda prediction when Korda Jr was twelve years old, has found again a valuable challenge. Entering the Philippe Chatrier, an option that does not happen several times a year, such as being able to knock Carlos Alcaraz out of a Grand Slam. To bet someone whom there are high expectations in this edition of Roland Garros.

Actually, Korda already tried it two years ago, also in Paris. He only caught eight games in three sets.

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