Florida-born Sebastien Korda brought his European tennis genes into play on Saturday, defeating Marco Cecchinato 6-2, 6-4 to win the ATP Parma title.

The son of former Czech great Petr Korda – 1998 Australian Open winner – became the first US passport holder in more than a decade to lift a European clay title.

The last to achieve the feat was Sam Querry, who beat compatriot John Isner to win Belgrade 11 years ago.

The classic – yet alien – surface has befuddled Yanks for decades, with only French Open titles three decades ago from Jim Courier and MIchael Chang plus Andre Agassi in a 1999 one-off breaking the stereotype of the inept American adrift on the dirt.

Korda, headed for the Top 50 after his first trophy success this season, had the advantage of European preparation this spring as well as a father who knows his way round a practice court.

He said that losing the February Delray Beach to Hubert Hurkacz and winning only one clay match prior to the Italian stop fired him up.

“I stayed positive, even with such a bad first part of the clay-court season. I took a couple of days off, recharged my batteries, and had a really good practice week in Prague with my dad and my coach,” the 20-year-old said.

“I came back hungrier, and I’m playing some really good tennis now.”

Korda needed an hour and a quarter for his breakthrough title over an Italian opponent.

 “This is something that I’ve dreamed of,” he said. “I played a really tough opponent and the crowd wasn’t easy.

“They kept cheering him on; I’m really proud of myself and how I handled it.”

Korda faced only one break point in the final and broke Cecchinato in the final game to take the victory.

Main photo :- Seb Korda with Emiliga-Romagno trophy by ©ATPTour.com


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