“It’s pretty cool to be called the next big thing in American tennis” – Sebastian Korda after reaching Citi Open 2R

Sebastian Korda expressed his pride at being called the next big thing in American tennis after beating his namesake Sebastian Baez on Wednesday to reach the Citi Open second round.

The 54th-ranked Korda is one of 14 American men in the top 100 of the ATP singles rankings. Son of former Australian Open winner Petr Korda, the 22-year-old has had a sparkling start to his young career, reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros two years ago on his Grand Slam main draw debut.

Making his second appearance at the Citi Open, Korda cleared the opening hurdle for the second time, beating Baez for a loss of just five games.

In his press conference, the 22-year-old was elated with his victory against a tough opponent.

“Definitely isn’t easy. He’s a great opponent. Super happy with the score and how I played today.”

On being perceived as the flagbearer of an exciting young generation of American tennis players, a modest Korda said that he’s motivated to scale greater highs.

“I think it’s pretty cool to have the ability kind of be called, you know, the next big thing in American tennis,” said Korda. “We have a lot of great guys in American tennis that are coming up, and to be part of that group, it’s really special. It’s motivating to do bigger, better things. And to be recognised as someone that has a chance to do some of those things, it’s pretty cool.”

Korda will now take on Grigor Dimitrov as he seeks his first quarterfinal at the Citi Open. Last year, he lost in the round of 16 to eventual winner Jannik Sinner.

Sebastian Korda’s 2022 campaign so far

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Korda endured a few more early losses before reaching the third round at Roland Garros, where he went down to fellow young gun Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets.

Korda won only two of his three matches on grass – skipping Wimbledon due to injury – before losing in the first round to Taro Daniel in Atlanta last week.

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