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The Future of American Tennis: Sebastian Korda

This week the future of American tennis has arrived with Sebastian Korda defeating Daniil Medvedev. It’s not even that he’s made it to the 4th round of a major at 22 years old, there are often plenty of Cinderella runs in majors that eventually lead nowhere. I don’t believe this is that. Korda came into the Australian Open as the 29th seed. More than anything he has the pedigree and genetics behind him. This just seems like confirmation of the direction he is headed.

Sebastian Korda is the son of Petr Korda and Regina Rajchrtov√°, two very accomplished former tennis players themselves. Perhaps only Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf supplied better tennis genetics and a starting point. Agassi is a mentor to Korda as well having played on tour with his father. Petr Korda is a former world number 2 player in the world and 1998 Australian Open champion. He was also a finalist of the 1992 French Open. For six seasons he was ranked in the top 18 and owns five wins over Pete Sampras as well. Regina Rajchrtov√° reached a high of 26th in the world and made it to the 4th round of the US Open twice. Sebastian Korda has two sisters that top 10 in golf as well.

The genetics in that family is undeniable, as are the resources he can draw from with the connections. Now that he is making big moves he seems like the odds-on favorite to me to be the next great American. With the showing this week from other young Americans he may soon have some company.

Ben Shelton

Shelton also caught my eye this week. He also comes from a tennis family as the son of a former pro who is the coach of the Florida Gators. He’s 89th in the world coming into the Australian Open at only 20 years. A young 20 as well only recently turning at the end of last year. The future seems very bright for Shelton as well and his bracket is laid out nicely for him to make the Quarter Finals or even perhaps the semi-finals. Another young American in J.J. Wolf who he will face will have something to say about that. His father Bryan Shelton reached the 4th round of Wimbledon in 1994 and a career-high of 55th in the world.

I’m the most excited I have been about USA tennis in 15 years. Along with those two 22-year-old Jenson Brooksby and the generation behind them appear ready to restore American tennis.


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