Alex de Minaur’s dreams of a rousing run at Wimbledon have been crushed at the first hurdle by Sebastian Korda, a young rocket man from one of world sport’s most successful families.
The Australian No.1 had harboured genuine hopes of his first deep run at SW19 as the No.15 seed following his impressive triumph at the Eastbourne International last weekend – yet 20-year-old Korda repelled his familiar fighting spirit to win 6-3 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5).
The powerful American youngster, son of former Australian Open champ Petr Korda, once again looked like one of the very best prospects in the game as he took the racquet out of de Minaur’s fighting hands with his searing groundstrokes that brought him 41 winners.
As usual, De Minaur could not be faulted for his battling effort as he saved no less than 15 of 19 break points as Korda maintained his inexorable pressure.
He also scrambled in a hard-fought third-set tiebreaker to take the match further but his resilience couldn’t faze the rising world No.50, who kept his nerve to edge a fourth-set breaker and claim the biggest win of his flowering career in three hours 25 minutes.
At the weekend, Korda’s elder sister Nelly won the Women’s PGA Championship to become the world’s No.1 woman golfer while his oldest sister Jessica is also a top performer on the LPGA Tour.
It’s possible that all three, whose mum Regina Rajchrtova competed for Czechoslovakia at tennis at the 1988 Games, could all be shooting for gold at the Tokyo Olympics.