The search for the next American men's tennis superstar may have uncovered something special.

Zachary Svajda, an 18-year old prospect from San Diego, Calif., joined Kamau Murray this week on the podcast to explain how he joined elite company by snatching his second USTA Boys' 18s National Championships crown. Not since Jack Sock (2010-11) has anybody won this tournament twice, and had the Covid-19 pandemic not canceled the 2020 event, it's entirely possibly that Svajda could have been victorious an unprecedented three times. That time off due to the shutdown, as he explains to Murray, allowed Svajda to sharpen his game and refocus mentally on the tasks at hand.


The conversation switched from the past to the future, as Svajda has another trip to New York on the horizon. His 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 triumph over Ben Shelton in Kalamazoo, Mich. secured a second main draw appearance at the US Open, where he pushed tour veteran Paolo Lorenzi to five sets as a 16-year old in 2019. When asked to share the first player that made him stop in his tracks, Svajda's answer was pretty clear.

"It was Roger, the first person I saw when I went inside the locker room," he reflected. "He remembered my name and everything... it was pretty amazing."

Time will tell if Svajda can live up to the expectations of carrying the U.S. men's tennis mantle. But based on recent results, and attitude exuded in his chat with Murray, the foundation for greatness is certainly in place.