American tennis is in good hands, thanks to the recent great performances of its young players. After years of darkness for US men's tennis, the quarterfinal at the ATP Master 1000 in Shanghai between Sebastian Korda and Ben Shelton showcased an amount of talent in an American derby on the ATP circuit not seen since the days of the matches between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.
In the match between the two, it was Korda who prevailed, winning 6-7(10) 6-2 7-6(6) after a battle of almost three hours. At the end of the match, the 23-year-old American expressed his emotions for winning the first 1000m semi-final in his career, in a year totally affected by injuries.
Sebastian Korda: “We have an excellent relationship with Shelton”
Korda commented on the match, also talking about his good relationship with Shelton: "It was a great match, of a very high level for both of them.
I'm very happy to have won it, especially in a difficult tie-break. Ben is a good guy. He has a fantastic family. We have started to get to know each other very well over the last couple of months. We have a great relationship. We played doubles once and we will certainly do so again in the future." The wrist injury suffered at the beginning of the year caused the American tennis player to miss a good part of the season: "My injury started last year, probably around this time.
I struggled with my wrist, then everything was fine, then it was got progressively worse during the training block before the Australian Open. After playing in Adelaide, he started to hurt a lot during the Australian Open.
From then on it was a very long journey. I lost three months to recover, another four months to learn how to do everything again. Sometimes I still have some problems. It's something that will only go away if we stay on the field and play a lot of games." For Korda, his father was fundamental in learning to manage moments of pressure: "Probably one of the most important things about having a father who played tennis was to understand certain moments and stay calm.
Another important thing what my parents taught me is to always believe in yourself, regardless of the situation, and to move forward." The American revealed his ambitious goals: "I don't think being a son of art creates any pressure on me.
Tennis is something I love to do. The same goes for my sisters, they love doing what they do. Obviously, I would like to be better than my father. My ultimate goal in tennis is to win two Grand Slams, one more than my father." In the semifinals Korda will face Hurkacz.
“It will definitely be fun. I'll have to get back in shape again. For me he is one of the best servers on the circuit, he has a super tricky serve. He is a great athlete, he hits the net very well. Hopefully we can respond well and serve well, and we'll see what happens."
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