American youngster Sebastian Korda spent the off-season training in Las Vegas with Andre Agassi. The son of former World No. 2 Petr Korda, Sebastian has been in regular contact with Agassi, and he recently talked about how special it is to have someone like him in his corner.
Now, Sebastian Korda has revealed that he also got a chance to hit with Steffi Graf during his time in Vegas.
A 22-time Grand Slam champion who also happens to be married to Agassi, Graf has largely stayed away from the limelight or any formal coaching activities since her retirement. However, the German has often been seen on the tennis courts in Vegas with players who train there.
Former World No. 5 Eugenie Bouchard is among those who hit with Graf while working with Agassi's former trainer Gil Reyes last year.
Korda revealed that Graf can still do damage with her 'Fraulein Forehand', the signature shot that saw her dominate the women's game in the late 80s and early 90s.
"I was on court a couple of times with Steffi, I didn’t want to play with her, I was way too intimidated by her," Korda said. "Her forehand crosscourt was just killing me so I was like 'I can’t do this anymore'."
Korda further revealed that the 51-year-old can get quite competitive during a hitting session, before adding that he was delighted to receive valuable inputs from the legend.
"She was incredible, she would give me some tips on the court and the energy that she brings every single day, you just knew that she was such a competitor, she’d get mad at herself when she missed, she would skyrocket, it was awesome to see her on court, it was super special," Korda said.
Sebastian Korda is through to the semifinals of the Delray Beach Open
The time in Vegas certainly seems to be helping Sebastian Korda. The 20-year-old scored a major upset on Monday, knocking out the No. 2 seed John Isner in three sets to reach the last four at the Delray Beach Open.
This marks the first ATP level semifinal for the young American. He has now won eight matches in a row and 16 of his last 18 matches, including the ATP Challenger in Eckental and the French Open.
Korda will take on Britain's Cameron Norrie for a spot in the Delray Beach final.
Irrespective of how the rest of the event turns out, Sebastian Korda will not be seen in action at the first Grand Slam of the 2021 calendar. The American decided to skip the qualifying event for the Australian Open, currently taking place in the Middle East, to compete in Delray Beach.Published 12 Jan 2021, 18:06 IST