On the last January weekend of 2018, the young lanky Sebastian Korda (*2000 / USA) accomplished the almost unbelievable by winning the 2018 Australian Open Junior Boys’ Singles title just 5 days shy of the 20th anniversary since his father Petr Korda (*1968 / CZE) won in the same famous Rod Laver Arena with the 1998 Australian Open Men’s Singles title his only Grand Slam singles crown. The total title harvest of the Korda family in Australia is then even larger as Petr Korda (together with Stefan Edberg / SWE) lifted also the 1996 Australian Open Men’s Doubles trophy and Sebastian’s older sister Jessica Korda (*1993 / USA) won the 2012 Australian Open on the LPGA!
Tall (193cm / 6’4”) right-handed Sebastian comes from a family with a long and very rich tennis tradition. His athletic mother reached under her maiden name Regina Rajchrtova (*1968 / CZE) career high of WTA #26 in 1991 and his above-mentioned left-handed father Petr peaked at ATP #2 in 1998 (on 4 occasions in 1998 just one winning match shy of reaching the #1). The tennis tradition on the father’s side then goes even deeper as Sebastian’s grand-grandfather was one of the founders the famous Czech National Junior U 18 Championships “Pardubicka Juniorka” in the Eastern Czech city of Pardubice (Czech Kalamazoo, but for both boys and girls, Sebastian’s father Petr won it in 1984, mother Regina in 1985) in the 20’s of the past century and his grandfather Petr Sr. did belong to the top Czechoslovak national ranked players. He later became one of the best Czechoslovak tennis coaches and it was him who has laid the foundation of Petr’s game. And last but not least, Petr’s uncle (brother of Petr Sr.), Pavel Korda was a Czechoslovak Davis Cup player and later for long years the National Tennis Coach of Czechoslovakia as well as the coach of its Davis Cup team, which he brought into two finals and to the first-ever Davis Cup title in 1980 (beating Italy in the finals in Prague).
It was my pleasure to be able to observe Sebastian’s father Petr’s development in our old club Slavia in Prague since 1982 and to be a part of his coaching team (together with Vladimir Zednik / CZE) in 1987-88 when we brought him into the ATP top 100 and into the Czechoslovak Davis Cup team for the first time. It’s then surely enjoyable to know that some of the principles which we have established back then remained with Petr who is Sebastian’s main coach and who is, in my opinion, doing a very good job with the well-planned patient gradual development of his son.
Quite typical for Sebastian is his clean technique with the highly efficient strokes. Mainly his service, forehand and also backhand slice are in my opinion of a very high technical quality already. Below, I am focusing on his 1st service technique as I have analyzed it during the 2017 French Open Junior Championships. Sebastian’s service is dominated on the backswing part by a calm body pretension buildup and an almost straight tossing motion, both free of any major idiosyncrasies. This is followed by a solid push-off leading to a good extension and then by a very dominant targeted pronation leading to a highly efficient and well-controlled energy unloading against the target, in a summary, clear Tennis 3.0 stroke using all the parts of the “Tennis 3.0 Code”. Such 1st service 3.0 can be well seen as a standard reference for an efficient service in today’s tennis. Just the platform stance can be considered as rather on the narrower side.
Winning 1st service 3.0 from the lost match against Gianni Ross (USA) in the round of the last 16 aka 3rd round of the 2017 French Open Junior Championships – The entire service motion is dominated by a calm efficiency, free of any disturbing idiosyncrasies. The body rotation energy from the trunk muscles is dominating the entire action and culminates in an almost ideal energy unloading against the target. The photos of the first series below are details from this video.
This article covers certain aspects of Sebastian Korda’s service and service in general only! Further photos, more details about his service and other strokes as well as about the strokes of other players are available upon request at drmgb11(at)gmail.com. Some significant details of this kind, necessary for a top tennis performance as well as for a sustainable tennis training/development in general, are being discussed also in the seminar “TENNIS 3.0 – Future of the Game”, which is available worldwide upon request – www.tennis30.com / www.tennis30.cz
Photos & video (June 2017) & text (January 2018) copyright by Dr. Martin G. Baroch. Any further publication of either any of the photos & video and/or texts with the explicit written permission issued by the author/copyright owner only!!