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Korda Joins Exclusive Club With Top 100 Breakthrough

  • Posted: Feb 01, 2021

When Sebastian Korda embarked on his professional journey four years ago, this moment became a matter of when, not if. After all, sporting greatness is ingrained in the Korda family’s DNA.

For all players striving to reach the upper echelons of the game, reaching the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings is that first major milestone. It is one that signals your arrival and confirms the belief that you belong on the same stage as the game’s best players.

But not all journeys are created equal. Korda’s path to the Top 100 was not quite as straightforward he had hoped – or many expected.

“It’s a little longer journey than the guys in the Top 100 right now, but I always say that I prefer mine over everybody else’s,” Korda told “With what I’ve experienced, I can appreciate things more.”

On Monday, Korda celebrates his long-awaited debut among the 100 best players in the world. The 20-year-old has ascended to a career-high of No. 88 after lifting his second ATP Challenger Tour title in Quimper, France. The youngest player to break into the Top 100 since Jannik Sinner two years ago, he is also the youngest American to join the club since Frances Tiafoe in 2016.

Recent #NextGenATP American Top 100 Debuts

Player Age Debut Date
Sebastian Korda
20 years, 6 months
1 February 2021
Michael Mmoh 20 years, 8 months 1 October 2018
Ernesto Escobedo 20 years, 8 months 3 April 2017
Frances Tiafoe 18 years, 8 months 10 October 2016
Jared Donaldson 19 years, 11 months 12 September 2016
Taylor Fritz 18 years, 4 months 29 February 2016

The 20-year-old has embraced the idea that his road to the top is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s the philosophy that his father – former World No. 2 Petr Korda – instilled in him from the onset of his professional career. And it’s one that helped him navigate through an 0-7 start to his tenure on the ATP Challenger Tour, as well as an 0-8 record in his first eight professional finals.

With a family pedigree that includes two sisters inside the current Top 20 of the LPGA Women’s World Golf Rankings, a father that ascended to No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings and a mother that peaked at No. 26 on the WTA Tour, expectations have always been high. But it’s that support system that has kept Korda focused and always looking forward, even at his lowest point.

“I always knew I had the game to do this,” Korda added. “It’s just been about getting my body right and really having some good people around me that push me every single day. I know how hard it is to climb the rankings and always being in these tough places. Playing the Challenger level was never easy and I had to battle through that mentally. It really helped me.

“I’ve always been super tough and mentally strong and I try to go back and learn from those experiences. I never take a loss for granted and I always learn from it and build from it. At the time, I put my head down and grinded through it. I’ve come a long way.”

The Korda men – Petr and Sebastian – are now part of an exclusive club, as one of just six father-son duos to appear in the Top 100 in the history of the FedEx ATP Rankings (since 1973). What started with Fred Stolle and Sandon Stolle in the 1970s and 1990s has since included Leif Johansson and Joachim Johansson, Phil Dent and Taylor Dent, Christophe Roger-Vasselin and Edouard Roger-Vasselin and most recently Christian Ruud and Casper Ruud.

Father-Son Duos In The Top 100 (since 1973)

Father (Career-High)
Son (Career-High)
Petr Korda (No. 2)
Sebastian Korda (No. 88)
Christian Ruud (No. 39) Casper Ruud (No. 25)
Christophe Roger-Vasselin (No. 29) Edouard Roger-Vasselin (No. 35)
Phil Dent (No. 17) Taylor Dent (No. 21)
Leif Johansson (No. 51) Joachim Johansson (No. 9)
Fred Stolle (No. 30) Sandon Stolle (No. 50)

“I think the biggest thing was being in New York [for the 2020 US Open] and being around all the guys,” Korda reflected. “They made me feel comfortable in my own skin, just being able to practise with them and learn from them. Understanding what they’re doing and how they’re doing it was a super big help for me. You can play professional tennis for 15-plus years if you’re healthy and everything is going ok. It’s a long road and a long journey for sure.”

As he began to ascend the FedEx ATP Rankings following a stellar junior career that included a title at the 2018 Australian Open, Korda struggled to win a match on the Challenger circuit. From the hard courts of Indian Wells to the clay of Panama City, he would spend a full year developing his game and finding his confidence, before finally notching his first victory. As he says, cutting his teeth at the lower levels was an integral part of his maturation and growth. One year later, the Florida native was rewarded with his maiden title, as he watched his winless run in finals come to an triumphant conclusion on the indoor hard courts of Eckental, Germany.

Now, fresh off a first ATP Tour final appearance in Delray Beach and a second Challenger title in Quimper, France, Korda cannot be stopped. A run of 14 wins in 15 matches has him firmly cemented inside the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings.

“I started the week super stressed because my sister Jessica won her first tournament in 2-3 years last Sunday. I was watching from here and was stressing the whole time. But to see her lift the trophy was inspiring and she was saying, ‘ok, it’s your turn’. I had to step it up a little bit.

“I had it on my mind for the first few days this week, and it was just a relief when I knew I had finally made it. I had worked so hard for this. Since I first started playing tennis, one of my biggest goals was getting to the Top 100. It’s a dream come true, but hopefully I can go a lot higher than this and keep enjoying the journey.”

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Chardy Saves 5 M.P. At Murray River Open

  • Posted: Feb 01, 2021

Jeremy Chardy saved five match points to scrape past No. 11 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia on Monday night at the Murray River Open.

Chardy recovered from 3-6 down in the deciding set tie-break and saved two further match points at 6/7 and 7/8 in a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(8) win over former World No. 3 Cilic in two hours and 32 minutes. It was Chardy’s first win over Cilic in almost four years (2017 Miami) and he next challenges French compatriot Gilles Simon or Sweden’s Elias Ymer.


Alex Bolt beat fellow Australian and pre-season training partner Thanasi Kokkinakis, who was playing his first tour-level match since the 2019 US Open, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 54 minutes.

“It’s always tough,” said Bolt, who will next face American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round. “We basically trained all pre-season together. So it’s not the best when you have to play someone you know really well. I probably started off a little bit erratic, not as good as I’d like to.”

World No. 265 Jason Kubler will play Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis after he knocked out ninth seed Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and eight minutes. “It’s good for my confidence that after injury I’m heading in the right direction,” said Kubler. “It’s probably my second best [win] ever I reckon. I had a good win [in the 2018] US Open first round [over Roberto Bautista Agut].”

Elsewhere, French No. 10 seed Adrian Mannarino defeated Mikael Ymer of Sweden 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 32 minutes. It was Mannarino’s first win of the season after he lost to Cameron Norrie in the Delray Beach Open by first round last month.

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Five Things That Matter On ATP Cup Day 1

  • Posted: Feb 01, 2021

The stage is set. Across five days and 15 ties, 12 countries will battle to become ATP Cup champion. Can Serbia defend its crown? Will Spain go one step further than last year and lift the trophy? Or will one of the remaining 10 nations break through and take the title?

Here are the five things that matter most ahead of Day 1 at the ATP Cup.

Revenge Or Repeat?
Serbia and Canada will clash in the first tie on Rod Laver Arena. The two nations met in last year’s knockout stage, when Serbia claimed a 3-0 victory to reach the semi-finals. The standout match of that tie was Novak Djokovic and Denis Shapovalov’s No. 1 singles clash, won by Djokovic in a final-set tie-break. The World No. 1 was pushed to the limit for two hours and 40 minutes in Sydney, but he held his nerve to deny the Canadian a memorable victory. The pair will meet for the second straight year in No. 1 singles action.

Tournament Debutants
Andrey Rublev is one of three Top 20 singles stars making his tournament debut on Day 1. The World No. 8 is the highest-ranked No. 2 singles player in the competition and he will attempt to carry his form from 2020 into this team event. Rublev tied Djokovic for the most tour-level wins (41) and led the ATP Tour with five ATP Tour titles last year. Matteo Berrettini will attempt to begin his ATP Cup campaign with another win against World No. 3 Dominic Thiem. The Italian is tied at 2-2 in his ATP Head2Head series against the US Open champion with 2019 victories at the Rolex Shanghai Masters and Nitto ATP Finals. Milos Raonic, who rose from No. 32 to No. 14 in the FedEx ATP Rankings last year, will face Dusan Lajovic in the opening match of Serbia and Canada’s tie.

Familiar Foes
Spain and Australia will headline the evening session on Rod Laver Arena in a repeat of last year’s semi-final. On that occasion, Spain claimed a 3-0 victory to reach the championship match. The one-sided score did not fully reflect last year’s battle in Sydney, where two of the three matches required a final set. Alex de Minaur claimed the first set of his encounter with Rafael Nadal and served to take the Spaniard to a second-set tie-break, but Nadal raised his level to win seven of the next eight games and confirm his nation’s place in the championship match.

Deciding Doubles
At the inaugural ATP Cup, 14 ties were decided by doubles matches. Watch out for more deciding doubles clashes this year. Australia’s doubles stars John Peers and Luke Saville have both achieved past success at Melbourne Park. Peers lifted the Australian Open trophy with Henri Kontinen in 2017 and Saville partnered Max Purcell to the championship match last year (l. to Ram/Salisbury). Spain and Argentina can both count on players who qualified for last year’s Nitto ATP Finals. Marcel Granollers (Spain) and Horacio Zeballos (Argentina) claimed three titles as a team en route to the season finale in 2020.

Thiem, Medvedev Return
For the first time since their 2020 Nitto ATP Finals championship match, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev will step onto the same court on Day 1 at the ATP Cup. In the day session on John Cain Arena, Thiem will lead Austria in Group C action against Italy. Medvedev will make his first appearance of the season in the evening session, when Russia meets Argentina in another 2020 knockout stage rematch.

Thiem and Medvedev will both be aiming to start the year strong and use the team competition as a springboard for 2021 success. The two rivals both defeated Top 2 stars Djokovic and Nadal en route to the Nitto ATP Finals championship match in 2020. This year, they will attempt to overtake them in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

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Anderson Hits 17 Aces Past Lopez At Great Ocean Road Open

  • Posted: Feb 01, 2021

Former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson got off to a winning start in his 2021 ATP Tour season opener on Monday at the Great Ocean Road Open. The 34-year-old Anderson fired 17 aces past No. 16 seed Feliciano Lopez, breaking once in each set, for a 6-4, 7-5 victory in 90 minutes.

The South African won 40 of 46 first-service points and saved all three break points he faced against 39-year-old Lopez. Anderson now plays Bolivian Hugo Dellien or Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany in the second round.


Elsewhere, Slovenian No. 13 seed Aljaz Bedene recovered from a 1-4 deficit in the first set and edged past Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan 7-6(5), 7-6(5) in just under two hours. Bedene awaits the winner between South Korean alternate Ji Sung Nam and wild card Dane Sweeny of Australia.

South Korean Soonwoo Kwon held his nerve to overcome Andrej Martin of the Slovak Republic 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(4) in two hours and 38 minutes for a second-round clash against seventh-seeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

David Goffin, Karen Khachanov, Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner headline the ATP 250 tournament field at Melbourne Park.

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ATP Cup Preview: Powerhouse Russia Eyes Group D Dominance

  • Posted: Feb 01, 2021

Powerhouse Russia headlines Group D at the 2021 ATP Cup, which begins on 2 February in Melbourne. The second edition of the event features 12 countries competing across four groups, with the top team from each group advancing to the knock-out semi-finals.

Here is everything you need to know about Group D: who is playing, when they’ll hit the court and how to follow all the action.

Group D: Russia, Argentina, Japan
A young squad anchored by not one but two Top 10 players makes Russia a dangerous threat in Group D. Even if a country’s No. 2 singles player manages to cool the red-hot Andrey Rublev, who won the most titles and joint-most matches in 2020, they’d still be in for a battle against giant-slaying Russian No. 1 Daniil Medvedev, the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion. Medvedev led Russia to the semi-finals at the inaugural ATP Cup, and he’ll be keen to start the season with even more success in Melbourne.

If any team has the best chance to spoil Team Russia’s party, it might be Japan, led by ATP Cup debutante Kei Nishikori. The Japanese No. 1 can hold his own against Medvedev, evidenced by a 2-2 record in his ATP Head2Head against the Russian, while Yoshihito Nishioka defeated Rublev in their only previous encounter. World No. 41 Nishikori also leads 3-1 in the Head2Head against Diego Schwartzman, but the Japanese player is still finding his best form as he seeks to lead Team Japan out of the ATP Cup group stage for the first time.

World No. 9 Schwartzman returns to lead a deep Argentina side after a career-best 2020 season saw him crack the Top 10 of the FedExATP Rankings and make his Nitto ATP Finals debut. He will receive plenty of support from lefty Guido Pella, who reached a career-high No. 20 in 2019, and a doubles duo made up of Horacio Zeballos, the No. 3-ranked player in the FedEx ATP Doubles Rankings, and Maximo Gonzalez, with whom Zeballos won an ATP Tour title and reached two finals in 2019.

Meet The Group D Players 

Russia  Argentina  Japan 
Daniil Medvedev Diego Schwartzman Kei Nishikori
Andrey Rublev Guido Pella Yoshihito Nishioka
Aslan Karatsev Horacio Zeballos Ben McLachlan
Evgeny Donstoy Maximo Gonzalez Toshihide Matsui

Three Group D Matches To Watch

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs Diego Schwartzman (ARG)
The first day of action will feature a rematch of last year’s quarter-final as World No. 4 Medvedev begins his campaign against World No. 9 Schwartzman. He’ll be looking to extend his mastery over the Argentine in their sixth career clash. Most recently, Medvedev defeated Schwartzman in straight sets en route to the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals crown.

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs Kei Nishikori (JPN)
Nishikori will make his ATP Cup debut against familiar foe Medvedev on Day 2 of group action. The Japanese player has the game to make the crafty Medvedev sweat, and the pair are deadlocked at two wins apiece in their Head2Head. Nishikori won their only meeting on Australian soil in three sets at 2019 Brisbane, but Medvedev will have the momentum on his side after finishing the season with a victory at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Andrey Rublev (RUS) vs Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN)
Rublev won Most Improved Player of the Year in last year’s ATP Awards after a career-best season saw him lift a tour-leading five titles and rise to No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. But he’ll have a battle on his hands against Japan’s No. 2 Nishioka, whose speed around the court could prove to be a foil for Rublev’s aggressive play. Nishioka leads their Head2Head after winning their only previous encounter at 2019 Sydney.

Where To Watch ATP Cup
TV Schedule

Group D Schedule 
View full group stage schedule

Tuesday, 2 February: Russia vs Argentina
John Cain Arena – starts 5:30pm
Andrey Rublev vs Guido Pella
Not before 7:00pm
Daniil Medvedev vs Diego Schwartzman
Evgeny Donskoy / Aslan Karatsev vs Maximo Gonzalez / Horacio Zeballos 

Wednesday, 3 February: Russia vs Japan
John Cain Arena – starts 5:30pm
Andrey Rublev vs Yoshihito Nishioka
Not before 7:00pm
Daniil Medvedev vs Kei Nishikori
Followed by doubles match – Players TBC

Thursday, 4 February: Argentina vs Japan
John Cain Arena – starts 5:30pm
Guido Pella vs Yoshihito Nishioka
Not before 7:00pm
Diego Schwartzman vs Kei Nishikori
Followed by doubles match – Players TBC

*Match schedule is subject to change in line with ATP rules and regulations

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Mirnyi Excited To Lead Team Japan, Happy With Nishikori's Preparations

  • Posted: Feb 01, 2021

Max Mirnyi has been working hard with Kei Nishikori ahead of the 12-team ATP Cup, which has pitted Japan in Group D alongside Russia and Argentina.

”We did the maximum we could do being in a room environment,” said Mirnyi, on coming out of the 14-day quarantine in Melbourne. “There was a lot of physical activity going on. My room was next to Kei’s room. I could see there was a lot of medicine ball activity, weights, running and jumping.

“We’re all going to be just happy and glad that the tournaments are here for us to play. Hopefully, by the time the tournament starts, everybody is going to be ready in the best possible way for the event.”

Nishikori said, “I am new to play this tournament, so I’m a little bit nervous. I don’t know how it’s going to be. I will just try to play my best tennis. I feel okay after being two weeks in a room.”

Mirnyi, who joined Nishikori’s coaching team in December 2019 after a 22-year-old professional career, will act as Japan’s captain this week. He will also working alongside Toshihide Matsui, Yoshihito Nishioka and Ben McLachlan.


Japan plays its first Group D tie against Russia on Wednesday and Nishioka, who went 2-1 in last year’s tournament that included a strong performance against Rafael Nadal, is looking forward to meeting Andrey Rublev.

“He had a great year last year,” said Nishioka. “I know it’s going to be very tough for me. Last year I had a great time in this tournament, so hopefully this year our team, with Kei coming back and also a new captain, we [have] got more power. I’m ready for play against Rublev. He’s going to be very aggressive, so I need to be ready for that and just figure out how to beat him. That’s going to be very important.”

Mirnyi added, “It’s a very exciting event. I had great fun viewing it on the television last year. It’s great to be part of it this year. We’re excited to be here with this line-up.”

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Team France Will Be Motivated; Monfils Will Make Sure Of It

  • Posted: Feb 01, 2021

Team France will have plenty of motivation as it competes in the ATP Cup this week. Gael Monfils will make sure of it, according to his countrymen.

Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin are two of the best doubles players in the world, but they went 0-3 in the inaugural ATP Cup one year ago. Mahut says that not only do they want to work hard to turn that around as a doubles pair, but that Monfils will certainly be on the case.

“When you have Gael on the team, you always feel the pressure,” Mahut said, cracking a laugh. “Believe me.”

Mahut added that it is “revenge for us this year” in terms of the Frenchmen’s performance, a sentiment Roger-Vasselin agreed with.

“Last year we had bad results. We didn’t win any matches in doubles,” Roger-Vasselin said. “We are really excited to play again. We’ll try, for sure, our best to win all matches we can and help the team to win games and to qualify for the semi-finals.

The French believe having a Team Zone in the corner in the court like there was at last year’s event will help. They feed off each other during matches.

“Obviously it’s a big help. In this kind of competition, you have the captain of course, and you have the guys just behind us on the chair. We really can count on Benoit and Gael to fire us up,” Mahut said. “Last year, we didn’t play as good as we wanted to. It was a good experience. We look forward to playing again and having the chance to bring some points to the team.”

Paire is France’s No. 2 singles player, and he will try to get his country off to a quick start to its ties against Austria and Italy. But most important to him is supporting his teammates.

“Just most important for me is the team. If we win with the team, it’s good. After, even if I lose, it doesn’t matter, if the team wins,” Paire said. “I’m going to try to prepare to do as good a match against Fognini as I can on Wednesday. I really enjoyed last year. I want to do the same and enjoy with the team.”

Monfils and Paire are two of the most entertaining players on the ATP Tour, and they will do their best to put on a show as they try to break through Group C to reach the semi-finals.

“Just expect to have positive vibes and energy on the stands, some screaming,” Monfils said. “[It] will be definitely a big help, a big boost for us.”

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Hurkacz/Sinner Sink Aussie Duo In Melbourne Doubles Opener

  • Posted: Feb 01, 2021

Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner christened their doubles debut with a comfortable victory over Australian duo Scott Puodziunas and Calum Puttergill on Monday at the Great Ocean Road Open.

In singles, Hurkacz and Sinner sit on opposite sides of the draw as the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, respectively. Hurkacz seeks to continue the momentum after winning his second career singles title at the Delray Beach Open by to start the season, while 19-year-old Sinner turned heads after reaching the quarter-final at last year’s Roland Garros.

The pair partnered up to defeat wild cards Puodziunas and Puttergill in straight sets, combining for nine break opportunities against the Aussies. Hurkacz and Sinner needed one break of serve to seal each set as they marched to victory after 57 minutes.

Also in action at the Murray River Open, another pair of Delray Beach champions hit the court as Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar picked up where they left off in South Florida with another victory.


Behar and Escobar needed just 50 minutes to record four breaks of serve against Australians Andrew Harris and Alexei Popyrin en route to a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

Did You Know?
Hurkacz won an ATP Masters 1000 doubles title last year, partnering with Felix Auger-Aliassime to the Rolex Paris Masters crown.

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