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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday January 22, 2023

Sebastian Korda

The power of positive thinking is playing a big role in Sebastian Korda's breakout success at the happy Slam.

Photo Source: Getty

Sebastian Korda is all about the power of positive thinking in 2023. And that positivity has played a big role in his first ever run to a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Tennis Express

After slipping past No.10-seeded Hubert Hurkacz in a tense five-set battle (3-6 6-3 6-2 1-6 7-6(7)) on Sunday, the 22-year-old American shared a recent revelation with journalists: That which does not kill him will only make him stronger.

“I think I'm really good at just kind of moving forward, learning from my mistakes, what I've done in the past, then using them in matches like this,” he said.

Korda was referring to some of the mental battles that have left him scarred over the last few years, such as his near miss against Rafael Nadal, when he was up a double break in the third set and completely melted down at Indian Wells last year, or his crazed round of 16 encounter with Karen Khachanov at Wimbledon in 2021.

There’s also the final at Adelaide with Novak Djokovic two weeks ago, which saw Korda squander a match point in the second before losing in three.

But the scar tissue hasn’t troubled him this week in Melbourne. In fact, Korda says it has helped him.

“I think I've had a tough match with Rafa, serving for it a couple times,” he said. “Match point with Djokovic. I think that really helped me, especially in the last match with Medvedev, closing out that tiebreaker. Then today as well. I think all those little moments that I've gone through, kind of learning from them, staying patient, staying positive, going through the process I think have really helped me going forward.”

Clearly Korda’s new relationship with the power of positive thinking is paying dividends. He has talked about it throughout the tournament, and stressed the importance of his new mindset after notching the biggest win of his career against Daniil Medvedev in the third round.

“I didn't feel anything during the match,” he said after that victory on Friday night. “I just kind of really, really worked hard on just zero negative thoughts. I mean, throughout this whole year, I haven't had one negative thought, whether it's waiting for transportation to go to the courts, whether it's eating lunch, whether it's doing anything.

“That's one of the biggest things is kind of just having a new motto of positive energy is more positive than negative energy. As soon as you get something negative, it can take you the opposite direction.”

Korda already has so much going for him. He’s blessed with easy, flowing power, and moves exceptionally well for a 6’4” player. He’s from one of the most athletically gifted families in the history of the universe, with two professional tennis playing parents and two sisters who are elite golfers. He’s got a tremendous team that is anchored by his parents, and strengthened by the additions of Radek and Martin Stepanek, plus the well-documented mentorship of Andre Agassi.

Add to that an ever developing mindset and there’s the feeling that Korda could one day become an unstoppable force on tour. Whether it comes true or not, there’s no denying that he has taken steps in that direction already in 2023.


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