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SEBASTIAN KORDA: “I MODELED MY BACKHAND AFTER MARAT SAFIN!”

25.10.2021, 21:09 #Interview #News #Best

Could you, please, elaborate a little bit on your match against Nino Serdarusic? Are you overall satisfied with the way you played against a rather tough opponent?

I am very satisfied; this is my first tournament indoors after a long time, first time in St. Petersburg. My opponent was playing very well indeed, but I was hanging in there too, I was serving really well. So I am very satisfied with the way I played and the way I handled everything.

Your father Petr Korda played in Russia, he was in the finals of the Kremlin Cup. Did he tell anything about Russia and Russian tennis?

No, we never really had a conversation about it. But this is my first time in Russia, it is a whole new experience for me. I walked around the city a couple of days ago and I saw the Hermitage and it is unbelievable. The city is amazing and so far the people have been really welcoming here.

Can you say a few words about your season? It is a breakthrough season for you; you are showing the best tennis in your career. Where you want to go from now, what are your lifelong goals?

Hopefully keep going up (laughter). It’s been a great year for me breaking Top 100, then Top 50 and now I’m in Top 40. I just want to keep progressing, keep working hard, keep listening the right people around me and hopefully I can just keep going up in the rankings.

What do you think about the specifics of this tournament and the court surface? There are different opinions, some say it is slow and some say the bounce is not high enough. Does it suit your game style?

I like playing on this type of courts, when you lay it down. I had a lot of experience, especially this year I have won a Challenger on this types of surfaces, and shown a good result in Montpellier – there has been a lot of great tennis from me on this type of surfaces. I feel pretty comfortable and so far I am enjoying it.

You have shown good results on hard this year: quarterfinals in Miami, Delray Beach finals, but your first title was on clay. So which surface is your favorite?

I like all of them (laughter). The first time I was playing pro-tournaments on grass as well and had some good results, but I feel comfortable on every surface. I had great results on all types of surfaces and it was just fun.

Who was your tennis idol except your father, when you were young?

I had a couple of them. Of course Rafael Nadal was one of my biggest idols. And I also loved Marat Safin, I loved watching him play and how funny he was and the charisma that he had. I kind of modeled my backhand after him and I ran into him a little bit throughout this couple of years and he was always really nice to me and said a lot of nice things about me.

Since you are making a debut here at this Russian tournament we wonder what you think about the Russian participants? Specifically Andrey Rublev who is the top-seed here and he is also the defending champion, what do you think his chances are here?

Hopefully not too good because he is in my half (laughter). I think that Russian players have been playing amazingly this year and Andrey is playing unbelievable well and Karatsev last week won his title in Moscow, a lot of talents in Russia and they are playing really good tennis.

Obviously, we know about your father’s tennis past, but we also know that your mother showed great results in tennis. Do they keep giving you pieces of advice, commenting on the matches or do they distance themselves from it and let you be on your own?

They are definitely both very involved, but that’s what I want. They always say: “Whatever decision you want to make, you make it. If you don’t want to take advice from us, that’s fine, we will step aside, no hard feelings at all”. They are really supportive and always there for us.

The company organizer’s name is “FormulaTennisHockey” – that’s the way it’s called, because the tournament director general is also involved in ice hockey. And we also know that you are fond of ice hockey. Could you make comments on it? What are the other sport disciplines you have a passion for apart from tennis and hockey?

Hockey is probably my favorite sport outside of tennis. I play a lot of golf as well. I know how big hockey is in Russia, so it’s cool to finally be here and see everything. Maybe one day I can get on the ice here (laughter).

What’s your favorite music and your favorite movie?

As for movie, it’s “Star Wars” and “Wedding Crashers”. As for music, I’m listening a lot to Martin Garrix – kind of upbeat stuff.

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