FAIRFIELD — Sports run deep in Sebastian Korda’s family. Sisters Jessica and Nelly play on the LPGA Tour and mom Regina Rajchrtova was a professional tennis player – as was dad Petr Kodra, famed for reaching as high as No. 2 in the world and winning the 1998 Australian Open.
“I played ice hockey competitively until I was 10,” Sebastian said. “Then I tried tennis and fell in love with it.”
Korda won a battle of Sebastians on the second day of the NorthBay Healthcare Men’s Pro Championship on Tuesday, defeating Sebastian Fanselow of Germany 6-4, 7-6 (4) on the Solano Community College courts in a second-round match.
Play will the ATP Challenger Tour event continues through Sunday in singles and doubles. A generator is in place to help with the electricity if a PG&E mandated power outage is in place on campus.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at Fairfieldprotennis.com. Matches are also streamed live on ATPTour.com. Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s finals will be televised worldwide on the Tennis Channel.
It was Korda’s first match in more than a month. He suffered a cracked a disc in his lower back. Since recovered, he started strong in the first set, but Fanselow drew closer to send the match to a second-set tiebreaker. Korda regained his control and posted the victory in his tournament debut.
“I started off a bit nervous in that first set, but I thought I played a pretty good match and I’m happy about it,” Korda said. “It was a good win.”
The 19-year-old Korda lives in Bradenton, Fla., and came with ranked No. 351 in the world. His career is just getting started. He won the 2018 Australian Open junior title. The 27-year-old Fanselow checked in at 343.
Taro Daniel was the top-seeded player on court Tuesday afternoon. The Bradenton, Fla., resident plays for Japan and is ranked No. 111 in the world. He beat University of Southern California senior Brandon Holt, son of famed tennis star Tracy Austin, 6-2, 6-2 in a second-round match.
Daniel flew in to Northern California this week off an impressive quarterfinal showing at an ATP 500 event, the Japan Open. He survived an array of low trajectory shots from Holt and a few wind gusts for the win.
“Coming from a really good week, I was just trying to keep that momentum going a little bit,” Daniel said. “It was a little tricky. Sometimes when the wind blows, and the balls are so light, you have to be careful not to overhit it.”
On other second-round matches, No. 16 seed Maxime Cressy (U.S.) defeated JC Aragone 7-6 (4), 6-2, Christopher O’Connell (Australia) downed Roberto Quiroz (Ecuador) 6-3, 6-4, and Emilio Gomez (Ecuador) topped Nicolas Mejia (COL) 6-4, 6-3.
You have free articles remaining.
In first-round matches, it was Jack Draper (Great Britain) over Alex Rybakov (U.S.), 1-6, 6-2, 7-5, Michail Pervolarakis (Greece) over Sem Verbeek (Netherlands), 6-3, 6-3, Kevin King (U.S.) over Altug Celikbilek (Turkey), 6-4, 6-3, and qualifier Felix Corwin (U.S.) over Filip Peliwo (Canada), 6-1, 6-3.
Singles matches later in the day included Evan King (U.S.) vs. Mitchell Krueger (U.S.); the evening match between top seed Steve Johnson (U.S.) and Michael Mmoh (U.S.). Doubles matchups included Darian King (Barbados)-Peter Polansky (Canada) vs. wildcard Brandon Nakashima (U.S.)-Alexander Ritschard (U.S.); Hans Hack Verdugo (Mexico)-Dennis Novikov (U.S.) vs. John Paul Futtero (U.S.)-Blaz Rola (Slovakia); and, JC Aragone (U.S.)-Donald Young (U.S.) vs. Nathan Pasha (U.S.)-Ma Schnur (U.S.).
On Monday, the 21-year-old Holt, from Rolling Hills, rolled to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Yuba City native Collin Altamirano in the first round. Holt had a tough time closing out the competitive Altamirano at the end of the of the second set, but racked up the win to easily avoid a decisive third set.
Holt snapped off some big serves and showed strong court coverage against Altamirano – much like the shots made decades ago by Hall of Fame mom Austin, a former world No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion.
Holt is just getting his pro career started. He opened the tournament ranked No. 554 in the world with $25,885 in career winnings. Altamirano was ranked 362. Holt had considered going full-time as a pro but has decided to return for a final year with the Trojans.
“She’s about as involved with my career as any mom,” Holt said. “When my brothers and I were growing up, we never wanted to listen to mom, or dad. Now I’m starting to realize what an asset that it is to have her. I’ve tried to take the knowledge she has and apply it to my game.”
Monday’s opening day action featured 12 singles matches and two qualifying showdowns. The ATP Challenger event features players ranked this year from No. 98 in the world on up.
Zachary Svajda defeated fellow American player Michael Redlicki 7-6 (5), 6-2 in another intriguing matchup. Svajda, a 16-year-old San Diego resident, won the USTA Boys 18 National Championship in August and earned a spot in the U.S. Open. He lost to Paolo Lorenzi in the first round of the major but impressed all before being derailed by full body cramping in a five-set loss.
The night match saw wild card Brandon Nakashima beat Ulises Blanch, 6-2, 6-4, in a battle of Americans. In other early matches Monday, it was Roberto Quiroz (Ecuador) over Lucas Gerch (Germany), 6-3, 6-3, JC Aragone (U.S.) over Roy Smith (U.S.), 7-6 (4), 6-4, Nicolas Mejia (Colombia) over Edan Leshem (Isreal) 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, Michael Mmoh (U.S.) over Evan Zhu, 6-4, 6-3, Evan King (U.S.) over alternate Strong Kirchheimer (U.S.), 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, Alexandar Ritschard (U.S.) over Sekou Bangoura (U.S.), 6-4, 6-4, Alexander Sarkissian (U.S.) over Ryan Peniston (Great Britain), 6-2, 6-3, and Agustin Velotti over Colin Sinclair (Northern Mariana Islands) 6-7 (6), 7-6 (4), 6-4.
In qualifying matches on Monday, Felix Corwin (U.S.) downed Martin Redlicki (U.S.), 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1, and Sem Verbeek (Netherlands) topped Dennis Novikov (U.S.), 6-2, 7-6(0).
The tournament benefits the Dr. Chris Cammisa Tennis and Education Foundation. The nonprofit helped fund the start of the men’s and women’s tennis programs at Solano College, and also brings the sport and an education program to underserved youth throughout Solano County.