Boys’ wrap: Korda closer to emulating dad

  • Alex Sharp
  • Luke Hemer

Twenty years on from when Petr Korda celebrated his Australian Open success with a scissor-kick that became famous, son Sebastian Korda has battled into the boys’ singles final of Australian Open 2018 with an absorbing 7-5 5-7 6-4 victory over Marko Miladinovic on Friday. 

The American will vie for the title against No.6 seed Chun Hsin Tseng, whilst there was French success in the boys’ doubles duel.

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“It’s a special feeling, it was also his big '5-0' birthday a couple of days ago so I told him I’d get him something,” Korda said of his father. 

“Hopefully this will be a good present. 

“I’m aiming for the title and I think that would be good enough,” joked the 17-year-old, who paid tribute to his dad by replicating the iconic jumping scissor kick after match point. 

The powerful duo were locked at 5-5 on serve in the opening set until Korda broke through with a crushing inside-out forehand winner. 

The Serbian dismissed three set points with some remarkable retrieval, but the No.7 seed struck a missile smash before clinching the opener at the fourth attempt with a booming sixth ace. 

Miladinovic was undeterred and chalked up break point leading at 4-3, managing to strike a forehand winner on the run whilst stumbling over. 

The sublime shot-making deserved a break, but Korda stuck to his guns and wielded a ferocious forehand to keep the scoreboard on par. 

However, the No.2 seed was striking with much more conviction, and rattled through six straight points to force a decider. 

The rallies were becoming more extended, but at 3-3 Korda finally found the pivotal answer, penetrating the rock-solid Serbian defence with another forehand drive. 

A 48th winner served out victory for a silverware showdown with Tseng, who prevailed 6-3 5-7 6-4 against Scotland’s Aidan McHugh.

“It feels good,” said an exhausted Korda, who is also gifted at golf, swinging off an impressive handicap of two. “It was a battle the whole time. It was a high-quality contest in all three sets. 

“I had a really good off-season and I’ve started playing a lot more pro tournaments, so I have been gaining a lot more experience and I’m a mentally a lot tougher. 
 

“You’re on your own out there, that’s what drew me into tennis, you have to figure things out, fight and work out the mental game too.” 

Tseng recovered from 0-3 down to lead Glasgow prodigy McHugh 6-3 2-4 before rain halted play at Melbourne Park.

Due to the adverse weather conditions, the encounter went indoors. McHugh, mentored by five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray, maintained his lead and cracked a forehand down the line to force a decider. 

In a finely-poised third set, Tseng struck the crucial break at 4-4, converting his third opportunity with a crisp passing shot. McHugh saved two match points, but it was Tseng’s turn to secure his final ticket.

French duo Hugo Gaston and Clement Tabur, under the watch of FFT President Bernard Giudicelli, took home the boys’ doubles title with a commanding 6-2 6-2 triumph over Germans Rudolf Molleker and Henri Squire

“We want to thank our coaches for their hard work and the (FFT) president for coming to support us,” said Gaston, whose doubles partner recently celebrated turning 18. 

“I want to thank Hugo for playing with me,” stated Tabur. “You gave me this present for my birthday, it means the best birthday ever.”