Tennis stays a circle of relatives recreation, and previous French Open champion Andrés Gómez’s 5 kids all become just right sufficient to play school tennis in the USA.
Just one become just right sufficient to apply 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 event debut, Andrés Gómez used to be again house in Guayaquil, Ecuador, looking at it on a display screen within the early morning together with his abdomen churning.
His son were given shut, very shut, pushing Lorenzo Sonego of Italy to a 5th set, however there might be no 2d 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 unique consequence as of late, however clay isn’t his perfect floor. Excellent issues are coming for him, I believe.”
Simply attaining the primary draw used to be fairly 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 extraordinary and disjointed season, he in any case broke thru in Paris, coming thru 3 rounds of qualifying and saving two fit issues within the ultimate spherical towards Dmitry Popko.
Thirty years after his father received 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 received is one thing particular,” stated Emilio, ranked 155th. “I’m now not a first-level participant like him, however I revel in it.”
Opting for the similar trail as a champion dad or mum isn’t with out its perils.
“Emilio needed to lift the title at the again, and it used to be a heavy load, infrequently even heavier as a result of he concept it used to be heavy,” Andrés Gómez stated. “However I believe Emilio began to revel in being my son. Everyone is the son of anyone, and there’s at all times expectancies and infrequently expectancies are just a little harder on a few of them. Being the son or daughter of a neurosurgeon, which perhaps doesn’t get the popularity or publicity of an athlete, evidently in that circle of relatives you’re going to have a large, large bag to hold.”
Emilio Gómez isn’t the one kid of a Grand Slam champion making his main-draw debut at this 12 months’s French Open. There could also 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 avid gamers.
Peter Korda and his spouse, Regina, who used to be 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 received a couple of L.P.G.A. Excursion titles, with Nelly tying for 2d within the ANA Inspiration, a big championship held previous this month.
“They’re having a just right 12 months this 12 months, so we’re at all times in touch, and we’re at all times speaking about what we will be able to 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 determined to concentrate on tennis at age nine after touring to the USA Open in 2009 together with his father when Petr used to be training the Czech participant Radek Stepanek.
“He performed Djokovic on Ashe at like 10:30 at night time,” Sebastian stated of Stepanek. “It used to be totally packed, and I assumed it used to be the good factor ever after that. I went house and stated, that is precisely what I wish to do, simply roughly fell in love with it.”
House used to be Bradenton, Fla., which could also be house to IMG Academy, the sprawling multisport academy the place his sisters evolved their golfing skills and the place he honed his tennis talents.
For the Kordas, juggling the trip to fortify their kids’s careers has lengthy been sophisticated and is simplest getting extra sophisticated: Petr selected to not trip to Paris partially on account of French Open restrictions on participant entourages and partially on account of Nelly’s and Jessica’s golfing time table.
“It’s difficult,” Petr stated. “However as soon as this 12 months might be over and optimistically existence will return to the traditional path and the time table might be a lot more company in tennis after which golfing, then I can make my time table and take a look at to stability it so I will at all times be between the women and Sebastian.”
The Korda folks taught Sebastian the tennis basics, which incorporated a two-handed backhand, which has evolved into his perfect shot and is fairly a distinction together 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 name, 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 disappointed 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 any other Grand Slam event on a floor higher suited for his tight-to-the-baseline recreation, despite the fact that that is probably not fairly as symbolic for him, his circle of relatives and people who take into accout what took place at Roland Garros in 1990.
“To be right here and get thru qualifying used to be 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 suggests extra now. If it had come previous, I wouldn’t were ready to understand it as a lot.”