Gómez and Korda in French Open Decades After Their Fathers Played It, Too

Tennis stays a circle of relatives sport, and previous French Open champion Andrés Gómez’s 5 kids all changed into just right sufficient to play faculty tennis in america.

Just one changed into just right sufficient to practice their father’s trail and play within the French Open, and when Emilio Gómez took to Court docket Three on Monday for his Grand Slam match debut, Andrés Gómez was once again house in Guayaquil, Ecuador, staring at it on a display within the early morning along with his abdomen churning.

His son were given shut, very shut, pushing Lorenzo Sonego of Italy to a 5th set, however there can be no 2nd spherical for the more youthful Gómez in Paris. Sonego prevailed 6-7 (6), 6-Three, 6-1, 6-7 (four), 6-Three in simply over 4 hours.

“That’s how tennis is going,” Andrés Gómez stated by way of phone. “I’m nonetheless glad. Clearly, I’d have sought after a special end result as of late, however clay isn’t his perfect floor. Excellent issues are coming for him, I believe.”

Simply achieving the primary draw was once slightly a adventure for Emilio Gómez, a former collegiate participant on the College of Southern California. He’s 28 and just about give up the sport in 2018 after a string of disappointing effects, simplest deciding to push on after successful two satellite tv for pc occasions in Ecuador. However on this atypical and disjointed season, he in spite of everything broke thru in Paris, coming thru 3 rounds of qualifying and saving two fit issues within the ultimate spherical in opposition to Dmitry Popko.

Thirty years after his father gained the French Open in 1990, defeating Andre Agassi, Emilio made it into the primary draw, breaking into tears.

“To be at the courts the place my father gained is one thing particular,” stated Emilio, ranked 155th. “I’m now not a first-level participant like him, however I experience it.”

Opting for the similar trail as a champion mother or father isn’t with out its perils.

“Emilio needed to lift the identify at the again, and it was once a heavy load, every now and then even heavier as a result of he idea it was once heavy,” Andrés Gómez stated. “However I believe Emilio began to experience being my son. Everyone is the son of any individual, and there’s at all times expectancies and every now and then expectancies are just a little more difficult on a few of them. Being the son or daughter of a neurosurgeon, which possibly doesn’t get the popularity or publicity of an athlete, needless to say in that circle of relatives you’re going to have a large, giant bag to hold.”

Emilio Gómez isn’t the one kid of a Grand Slam champion making his main-draw debut at this yr’s French Open. There may be Sebastian Korda, a 20-year-old American who will face John Isner in the second one spherical of fellows’s singles on Wednesday.

Korda’s father and trainer is Petr Korda, the 1998 Australian Open champion from the Czech Republic who additionally reached the French Open ultimate in 1992, dropping to Jim Courier.

Andres Gómez stated he and Petr Korda had in comparison notes at the artwork of parenting and training. However the next-generation Kordas aren’t simply tennis gamers.

Peter Korda and his spouse, Regina, who was once additionally a number one Czech participant, even have two older daughters: Jessica, 27, and Nelly, 22, who’re two of the main girls’s skilled golfers. Each and every has gained a couple of L.P.G.A. Excursion titles, with Nelly tying for 2nd within the ANA Inspiration, a big championship held previous this month.

“They’re having a just right yr this yr, so we’re at all times involved, and we’re at all times speaking about what we will do higher, and the way we’re doing it,” Sebastian stated of his sisters. “However yeah, they’re a large lend a hand, and I really like them so much.”

Sebastian, nicknamed Sebi, began out with a keenness for ice hockey however made up our minds to concentrate on tennis at age nine after touring to america Open in 2009 along with his father when Petr was once training the Czech participant Radek Stepanek.

“He performed Djokovic on Ashe at like 10:30 at night time,” Sebastian stated of Stepanek. “It was once utterly packed, and I believed it was once the best factor ever after that. I went house and stated, that is precisely what I need to do, simply more or less fell in love with it.”

House was once Bradenton, Fla., which may be house to IMG Academy, the sprawling multisport academy the place his sisters evolved their golfing abilities and the place he honed his tennis talents.

For the Kordas, juggling the trip to reinforce their kids’s careers has lengthy been sophisticated and is simplest getting extra sophisticated: Petr selected to not trip to Paris partly on account of French Open restrictions on participant entourages and partly on account of Nelly’s and Jessica’s golfing agenda.

“It’s difficult,” Petr stated. “However as soon as this yr can be over and with a bit of luck lifestyles will return to the standard course and the agenda can be a lot more company in tennis after which golfing, then I can make my agenda and take a look at to steadiness it so I will at all times be between the women and Sebastian.”

The Korda oldsters taught Sebastian the tennis basics, which incorporated a two-handed backhand, which has evolved into his perfect shot and is slightly a distinction along with his father’s flat one-hander.

Petr is a lefty. Sebastian, like his mom, is a right-hander.

However each father and son are tall and wiry, and because successful the 2018 Australian Open boys junior identify, Sebastian has grown a few inches taller than Petr. He’s now 6-foot-Five and beginning to make inroads at the leading excursion.

Like Emilio Gómez, he certified right here for his first French Open, and on Sunday he disillusioned Andreas Seppi, a 36-year-old Italian with a lot more revel in on clay and each different floor.

Sebastian is ranked 213, however now not for lengthy. His subsequent hurdle: Isner, the thunderous server who continues to be the top-ranked American at age 35.

The following problem for the late-blooming Gómez: Making the primary draw at some other Grand Slam match on a floor higher suited for his tight-to-the-baseline sport, regardless that that might not be slightly as symbolic for him, his circle of relatives and people who consider what came about at Roland Garros in 1990.

“To be right here and get thru qualifying was once already a privilege for me,” he stated. “It’s the tale of my father and our nation. I will’t be too onerous on myself. It’s one thing that implies extra now. If it had come previous, I wouldn’t had been in a position to comprehend it as a lot.”

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