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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday January 21, 2023

Sebastian Korda has easy power, the ability to take the ball early and on the rise, compact, repeatable strokes on both wings, and – for a bonus prize – an extremely positive attitude.

Tennis Express

It’s been no secret that the 22-year-old has had some trouble closing out big matches over the last year. He squandered a 5-2 double break lead against Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells last year and, more recently, held a match point against Novak Djokovic in the Adelaide final before losing in three sets.

But Korda is not about to hang his head. The 31st-ranked American knows it would only cause him more problems, after all.

After notching his biggest career win by ranking – and his first Top-10 win at a Grand Slam – over seventh-seeded Daniil Medvedev on Friday night in Melbourne, Korda talked about his overflowing positivity.

“I didn't feel anything during the match,” he said. “I just really, really worked hard on zero negative thoughts. 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.”

Korda says that the power of positive thinking is one of the biggest differences in the 2023 version of himself.

“That's one of the biggest things, 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,” he said, adding: “Anything that happens, just thinking in the most positive possible way, just going forward. Same thing in the match. Losing my serve after being 40-15 up, you know, it's okay, next point. Don't worry, keep going, do your thing.”

Korda, who has assembled a formidable coaching team that includes his father Petr, a former Grand Slam champion, as well as Radek Stepanek and Andre Agassi (in a mentor’s role), says that it is his mother’s influence when it comes to his positivity.

His mother, Regina, was a former World No.26 who has also played a significant role in shaping Korda’s buttery smooth ground strokes.

“My mom is always really big on having a good attitude,” he said. “I just try to take it one step further, just try to do it all the time. Especially bringing in two new coaches, Martin Stepanek and Radek Stepanek. They're really big into that. So I think it's playing a big role in my game right now. It's working really well.”

Korda, who is into the round of 16 at a major for the third time, and the first time in Australia, will face 10th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in the round of 16.

Hurkacz defeated the American in their lone meeting, in the finals at Delray Beach in January of 2021.