APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

Seb Korda: the youngest of an astonishing family shines in Madrid

There are sporty families, extremely sporty families, and then there are the Kordas. Five members: three professional tennis players and two great champion golfers. One of them is still going strong at the Mutua Madrid Open. However, tomorrow he will have a mountain to claim when he faces third seed Daniil Medvedev.

In tennis circles, Petr Korda is a name known to all. Back in 1998, the Czech player enjoyed the best result of his career when he beat Marcelo Ríos in the Australian Open final. A week later he would climb to No. 2 in the world, his career-high ranking.

During his time on tour, Petr met the then Czechoslovakian Regina Rajchrtová, sparks flew and they married. Regina reached No. 26 in the world. So far, so good. Their marriage produced a trio of children, and what a trio!

Jessica Korda, Nelly Korda and Sebastian Korda are charged with continuing the family legacy. The two sisters are professional golfers. But not your run-of-the-mill professional golfers. Jessica has won six times on the biggest circuit in the world, the LPGA Tour, recorded top 10 finishes in every major, and at the age of 15 she made her US Open debut and finished in the top 20.

However, right now, the middle Korda is the one making the headlines. Nelly is the No. 1 player in the world. She recently won the Chevron Championship, her second major title. She has also just made golfing history by winning five of the five tournaments she has played in 2024, something only three players have ever done before her.

Finally, we have the youngest of the Korda brood, a familiar face at the Mutua Madrid Open and currently one of the biggest American talents. Seb was a Junior Australian Open champion five years ago and is now an ever-present member of the world’s Top 30. He has already managed to win his first ATP tournament.

After his second-round win yesterday against Max Purcell, we had an opportunity to talk to him about his extraordinary family. It seems Seb Korda is just as astonished as the rest of us. “What my sister is doing is incredible, she’s such an inspiration to me to try and be better every day. Hopefully I can get a bit closer to her level. She’s all we talk about in the family chat group”, he joked.

With so many athletes in the family there’s no shortage of motivation and inspiration. “Of course, my sister is one of the most committed athletes to what she does, she works very hard, prepares with intensity, has a great mentality, she’s a fighter and she never gives up. She has an immense capacity to surpass herself over and over. I’m so proud of her”. However, it has not been plain sailing all the way, his elder sister fought off a serious illness last year before bouncing back to the top of the ranking. “She had a very complex operation because of a blood clot. She recovered very well, thank God. It was a long journey back to try and rediscover her confidence. I think she put a lot of work in and she’s made a huge effort mentally. She’s a great champion”.

Although he’s not as good with club in hand as his two sisters, Seb is certainly no slouch on the golf course. “Sometimes I play with Nelly, it’s more difficult with Jessica because we don’t live so close, but Nelly and I always have good battles. My game’s not that good at the moment, I was a 3 or 4 at my best. If I learnt to putt, I think I would really improve my handicap”, he laughed. “But it’s horrible, the worst part of my game”.

There is some healthy competition between father and son as they vie to become the family’s best male golfer. It’s a race that Petr is currently winning. “My dad is obviously better because he can putt! He’s a great player, he plays off scratch”.

There are plenty of other tennis players on tour who enjoy the odd round of golf. Casper Ruud, Novak Djokovic and, of course, Rafa Nadal. “I’ve spoken to him about playing, it hasn’t come together yet, but we’ll play. The only problem is that next year he’ll have much more time to play golf and he’s going to keep getting better”, the youngest of an amazing family of athletes concluded with a chuckle.