Nelly Korda seeks to join family’s run of Australian success


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After last year’s epic run for the Korda family, 20-year-old Nelly seems primed to add to the family’s rich Australian history. It started, of course, with Petr winning the 1998 Australian Open tennis title. Eldest daughter Jessica followed in 2012, winning a six-way playoff at the Women’s Australian Open. Jessica celebrated her first LPGA title at Royal Melbourne with her father’s trademark scissor-kick.

Then last year, 18-year-old Sebastian won the Australian Open boys’ singles title, 20 years after his father won the Grand Slam. He, of course, celebrated with a scissor-kick.

“I feel so left out,” Nelly joked at her pre-tournament press conference at this week’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at The Grange Golf Club.

The Korda family’s incredible 2018 season began with Sebastian’s victory in January and was quickly followed by Jessica’s gutsy comeback in Thailand after double-jaw surgery. In the fall, Nelly broke through for her first LPGA title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship.

While Jessica isn’t in the field this week (she’s scheduled to begin 2019 next week in Thailand), Nelly will make her second start of 2019 in Oz. She finished third at the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, not far from her home in Florida.

Both Korda sisters are currently ranked inside the top 20 in the world, with Jessica at No. 12 and Nelly 16th. It’s highly likely that both will be on this year’s Solheim Cup team. Nelly ranks second in points, and Jessica is fourth.

Nelly said her main focus for 2019 is to remain healthy, though she’d also like to crack the top 10 of the rankings.

While success Down Under runs in the blood, Nelly has room for improvement. She finished in a share of 40th in her previous two Australian Open starts.

“I have yet to figure out how to play in Australia, to be honest,” she said. “Last year, I think I was in every bunker. The golf courses are a bit different out here, so I’m just going to take some time this week and prepare for Thursday and on.”

That being said, all the Korda siblings are quick learners. Could there be a scissor-kick in Nelly’s future?

“Only in Australia,” she said, “and it has to be the Australian Open.”


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