After Sebastian Korda’s completely unexpected run to the fourth round of Roland Garros in 2020, I asked him which surface he prefers, thinking that his huge serve and compact, piercing groundstrokes would undoubtedly favor a quicker surface. His response was surprising.

“I like any kind of court honestly,” Korda said. “I feel like my game can adapt pretty well to any surface."

He wasn’t lying. On Monday, Korda—playing in his first ATP grass-court tournament—defeated world No.10 Roberto Bautista Agut on what can statistically be considered his favorite surface. The Spaniard owns a career 70 percent win rate on the slippery surface.

But it wasn’t the 6-3, 7-6 (0) scoreline that was surprising. It was how he beat him.


At 3-2, 15-40 in the first set, Korda crushed a clean winner off Bautista Agut’s first serve. 

Then, at deuce in the same game, Korda came up with the shot of the tournament—a perfectly executed tweener-lob—which according to his Instagram, might have been the shot of his life.

Korda would break Bautista Agut after this incredible tweener-lob.


Korda shut-out the Spaniard in the second-set tiebreak. It’s never wise to overreact to a singular match, but given Korda’s rapid ascent up the ATP rankings, his routine victory over one of the game’s better grass-court players is alarming.

Korda, currently fourth in the NextGen ATP Race to Milan, will face the winner of Ricardas Berankis and Kei Nishikori come Wednesday. After his performance today, don’t be surprised to see the American listed as a betting favorite if Nishikori advances.