Roland Garros

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Paris, France

Sebastian Korda

Press Conference

R. NADAL/S. Korda

6-1, 6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I want to get your thoughts on basically just playing your idol, the reason why you play tennis. Maybe just give me your thoughts on that and the match in general.

SEBASTIAN KORDA: Yeah, no, it was definitely the best moment of my life. Yeah, it was super awesome.

I think after the match I asked him for a signed shirt when we were tapping rackets. So I don't know if anyone's ever asked him for an autograph after a match, but that was definitely the coolest moment of my life and one I'll never forget for sure.

Q. It's been quite a run for you here. What would you say is the moment that will stick out the most in your mind from this week, other than what you just described, but during the match itself today?

SEBASTIAN KORDA: I don't know, just seeing him across the net. I mean, ever since I was a kid, I mean I was in love with him and everything about him. I would watch every single match. Doesn't matter who he was playing or what tournament he was playing, he was the guy for me.

Yeah, it was an unbelievable moment for me and I couldn't have written it any better. Qualifying for my first Grand Slam, winning my first tour-level match, and then playing Rafa on Chatrier in the fourth round of a Grand Slam, it's a big blessing.

Q. Could you describe what the sensation was in that first game, which was a long back-and-forth game. And what was the feeling like to be trading shots with Nadal, having break points, what was that like in the moment?

SEBASTIAN KORDA: Kind of, it gave me a belief that I can keep up with him on the clay. I mean it was, the first game was massive for me. Unfortunately I couldn't close it in the break point. But yeah, it was just a self-belief that I can keep up with these guys.

I mean, it's been really, it's been a real privilege to play here and kind of get those experiences under my belt. I'm really looking forward to what the future holds.

Q. You watched him play dozens, hundreds of times. So could you describe a little more the experience of now facing Nadal and having the whole quality of playing someone.

SEBASTIAN KORDA: Yeah, in the warmup I was as tight as I could be. But, yeah, once we lined up, in the first game of the match, I mean, I completely relaxed. The whole match I didn't feel nervous at all.

But, yeah, his ball is just, it's massive. And yeah, it was an awesome experience.

Q. What did your dad and what did Radek say to you before? I mean, in a message I got from Radek he said he was very, very excited for you and this is such a great journey. But what did both of them say to you before the match?

SEBASTIAN KORDA: No, just kind of, just relax and enjoy the moment, really. I mean, I'm in the second week of a Grand Slam. If someone told me this four weeks ago, I would have taken it. Yeah, just to be happy out there and enjoy the moment. Regardless if you win or lose, it's going to be a great experience and you can learn a lot from it.

Q. Seems like a new generation is coming up with Altmaier, Gaston, Sinner, and you, Sebastian. Do you feel the same a little bit?

SEBASTIAN KORDA: Yeah, no, I mean, I know all these guys. I mean, I played juniors with Hugo, so watching him play has been awesome.

Yeah, but I think we're all just getting kind of building into our bodies and really finding our games right now. So, yeah, it's really cool, for sure.

Q. I know you've impressed a lot of people. As you know, one of the biggest talking points of Roland Garros this year has been how you named your cat after Rafa Nadal, who you played with today. So tell us who gives you more problems and why. Is it Rafa on the court, is it Rafa your pet cat at home? And do they share any personality traits? Are they the same in any way?

SEBASTIAN KORDA: Yeah, I mean, they're both super, I don't know, super hyper and super, I don't know, nice. I mean, my cat at home, he's incredibly nice.

And after the match, I mean Rafa was unbelievable. I mean, I asked him for a signed shirt when we were tapping rackets and he said, Yeah, no problem. So I have one in my bag right now. So I'm super stoked (smiling).

Q. How would you describe the conditions today and how they affected the whole dynamic of the points?

SEBASTIAN KORDA: Yeah, no, it was definitely, it was super tricky. It was like a tornado sometimes with the wind in there. It wasn't easy at all. It was moving around.

And, yeah, I mean, I guess that's where the experience comes from. He's played on that court a couple of times. And, yeah, so he was used to it a little bit better than I was. Especially the shadow wasn't easy.

But, yeah, I mean I wouldn't want to, I wouldn't trade it for the world, for sure.

Q. You've seen him play obviously many, many times from afar. What impressed you, struck you the most about the way he plays, getting a chance to see it up close? And separately but connected to that, is there anything you learned about yourself or something you can take away? You've got a long career ahead of you, presumably, something from today that maybe can help you as you move forward.

SEBASTIAN KORDA: Yeah, no, there was two moments. One he almost hit an around-the-net forehand and I was kind of begging for it to go in because that would have been the coolest thing ever. And then he hit a running forehand winner on me at the lines. I just said to myself, This is awesome.

But yeah, no, I learned a lot. I mean, the score wasn't the closest, but I mean every game was pretty close. So I took a lot of confidence in that and knowing that I have a big enough ball that I can hurt some of these guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
102227-2-1044 2020-10-04 14:49:00 GMT

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