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An open book when it comes to his son’s character and commitment, Petr is more tight-lipped when it comes to the specifics of his game. He allows the twinkle in his eye to speak for itself.
“When you go to a fancy restaurant and you have a fantastic meal, you talk to the cook who will always be happy that you appreciated the meal, but he will never tell you the recipe,” Petr says. “I know his weaknesses and I know where he is good, but that is part of the recipe.”
His foundation meticulously laid, Korda started building skyward with his 2020 Roland Garros run, and followed it up with his first ATP Challenger Tour title less than a month later.
In an effort to keep his momentum rolling in the off-season, he reached out to an old friend of his father: eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi. Their initial conversation led to a two-week training stint with the Agassi-Graf family in Las Vegas, Nev.
“Andre told me how good I am and how much better I can be,” Korda says, noting that he remains in regular phone contact with Agassi. “My family tells me that, but it doesn’t really sink in until you hear it from someone else.”
To be fair, if Korda hasn’t heard “it” elsewhere, he has wisely distanced himself from the hype.
“He’s going to be an incredible player,” John McEnroe told ESPN.Com.
“I really believe that we are looking at a great player [in Sebastian],” added Nadal after their match.
“This is our best American prospect in a long, long time,” Andy Roddick said on Tennis Channel.
But with Agassi’s personal feedback fresh in his mind, Korda began his 2021 season by opting to skip Australian Open qualifying, instead taking a wild card into the Delray Beach Open, and playing Challenger events in Europe.
“Sometimes you’ve got to risk it for the biscuit,” Korda said of the decision, which immediately paid off with a runner-up finish in Delray Beach, a second Challenger title in France and a subsequent Top 100 debut.