Korda Makes Winning Start On Debut

Sebastian Korda made a winning start on his debut at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Monday, overcoming Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 7-5 6-4 to reach the second round.

The American arrived at the third ATP Masters event of the season off the back of a run to the third round in Miami, but was made to work hard against the World No. 41 in his first clay-court match of the season.

Korda saved one set point on van de Zandschulp’s serve at 5-5 in the first set and rallied from a break down in the second set to eventually advance after one hour and 36 minutes.

The 21-year-old, who lifted his maiden tour-level title on clay in Parma last season, has now leveled his ATP Head2Head series with van de Zandschulp at 1-1. The World No. 42 will next face Miami titlist Carlos Alcaraz in a re-match of the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals 2021 championship match, which the Spaniard won.

Korda’s father Petr is a two-time Monte-Carlo doubles champion, having lifted the title in 1990 and 1993. Korda is also competing in the doubles event this week, partnering countryman Taylor Fritz.

Former champion Fabio Fognini booked his spot in the second round with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.

The Italian entertained the fans throughout on Court Rainier III with his shot-making and movement to advance after two hours and 30 minutes. Fognini defeated Dusan Lajovic in the final in Monte-Carlo in 2019 to lift the biggest trophy of his career and will next face reigning champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“The fans love me because I won in 2019! No I am joking,” Fognini said in his on-court interview. “I am happy. It was a difficult first match but I am pleased to get through and now have a great match to come. It is going to be tough against [Tsitspias]. Hopefully the people come and watch me in the next round. I really need them.”

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