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Clay Court Championship Week
Sebastian Korda Wins Boys 18s Clay Courts

Unseeded and undaunted, Sebastian Korda picked up the first gold ball of his singles career as he downed Alexandre Rotsaert in the finals of the Metropolia USTA Clay Court Boys 18s National Championships at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.

Singles champion Sebastian Korda
© Fritz Moore, AvosStudios.com
Korda, 16, needed a little over two hours as he defeated the hometown favorite, Rotsaert, 6-4, 6-1 to win the singles title in an all-Florida match-up. It was the first-ever meeting between the pair.

"I had never won a gold ball before," said Korda, whose father Petr won the Australian Open in 1998, and was ranked second in the world after winning the Open. "I've never gone past the round of 16 actually.

"It feels good," Korda said. "I think I wanted the gold ball more than winning the tournament. It feels nice to finally have one."

Korda's father gave him some crucial advice before the tournament.

"He told me in the big points to stay calm the whole match," said Korda, who with the win gets a wild card entry into the U.S. Junior Open and also an entry into the Delray Beach Open and a wild card in a Futures event. "He said to play your own game and go for it."

Upon winning the tournament, Korda immediately texted his father, who was in Kalamazoo with his 17-year-old sister Nelly at a junior golf tournament. His older sister, Jessica, 23, is a professional golfer with four wins on the LPGA tour, while Nelly is a promising junior golfer. He is hoping to establish his own identity on the courts.

"Hopefully this helps," he said. "Now they just won't call me Petr Korda's son. "It's tough to have that pressure, but I like the attention. It's nice.

"I think it's been helpful because my father knows what to do in those exact moments," Korda said. "He gives me a lot of advice and sometimes I take it and sometimes I don't. Hopefully, I can keep playing like this. I was up a double break in the second set and was at love-40 and just said to stay calm ... I came back and played six great points and won the game. It can get frustrating, but you just have to stay positive."

Korda's road to the final was a rocky one as he needed to save four match points in the second set of his quarterfinal match against Sam Turchetta (Pound Ridge, NY), 6-7, 7-6, 6-1.

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Page updated on Monday, March 09, 2020
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