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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday May 28, 2023

Sebastian Korda has only played two matches since injuring his wrist at the Australian Open, but the American has been busy working on his game nevertheless.

Tennis Express

That was made clear on Sunday as the American eased past Mackenzie McDonald, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, to reach the second round at Roland-Garros, earning a second-round clash with qualifier Sebastian Ofner.

Korda, who has been sidelined for over three months, started the season brilliantly, winning eight of his first ten matches, including victories over Jannik Sinner in Adelaide and Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open. He also held match points against Novak Djokovic in the finals at Adelaide, before falling 7-6(8), 6-7(3), 4-6.

Since the Australian Open in January, in addition to getting his wrist healthy, Korda has been putting in the hard yards in the gym. He has hired fitness trainer Jez Green and says he feels stronger than ever.

“A lot's gone on, new addition to my team, bringing Jez Green, put a lot of weight on, muscle,” Korda said. “I put like 7 kilos of muscle on. Kind of getting back into it. Been a while since I played any tennis, really. Madrid, Rome, and now here, just kind of getting my feet comfortable again. Just one step at a time.”

Korda feels that improving his physicality will be the key to unlocking his game. He says the time away from the court was positive in that regard.

“I think it was obviously a tough period for me, but, you know, a blessing in disguise,” he said. “I had a lot of months, three, four months to really build the body and set a base that will basically be with me for the rest of my career.

“I think that was one of the things I needed most was to kind of get the body right. The tennis I always had. It was just kind of getting the body right and getting ready for these long best-of-five matches to make deep runs.”

Korda says he needed nearly three months without a racquet in his hand, due to the wrist injury. He is in the process of getting comfortable with his game again, which makes his win today all the more impressive.

“I went two, three months without touching a racquet, basically,” he said. “I even still had a little bit of pain kind of in Madrid, and then Rome was the first tournament where I kind of had nothing, which was a really big positive for me. Now I have zero pain in my wrist.

“Just kind of learning how to play again a little bit.”

The 30th-ranked American improved to 6-3 at Roland-Garros with his win. In 2020 he reached the round of 16 on his debut – his best performance in Paris to date.

Though he hasn’t rounded into mid-season form yet, the 22-year-old says he gained a lot of self-belief thanks to the excellent tennis he played this winter in Australia.

“Just self-belief, you know, pretty dangerous when it comes to like a good hard court, even on clay I can be dangerous,” he said. “A lot of self-belief, you know, knowing that I can close out these big matches against these big players, and really feeling that I'm one of the top players when it comes to Grand Slam levels.”