14 Nov 2017

Korda & Mandlik twins playing Abierto Juvenil Mexicano

News Article

By Sandra Harwitt

Photo: Susan MullaneSebastian Korda (USA)

Floridian-born Americans Sebastian Korda, and twins Elizabeth and Mark Mandlik, all share something in common outside of their place of birth. They each have a tennis parent of Czech origin who is a Grand Slam champion.

All three are looking to follow in their parents famous footsteps. On that hopeful road to fame, the three are touring the ITF Junior Circuit and this week can be found playing at the Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano.

For the first time the Mexico City event is a family affair for the 16-year-old Mandlik twins. Last year it was only Elizabeth who competed, losing to eventual champion and fellow American Taylor Johnson in the round of 16.

The 12th-seeded Elizabeth had a good first round outing on Monday, defeating Mexican wildcard recipient Maria Jose Hernandez Magro Quiroz 62 60.

The 293rd-ranked Mark Mandlik joined his 94th-ranked sister at the competition, although his first singles visit ended in the first round with a 61 62 loss to Mexico’s Isaac Arturo Arevalo.

Tennis is a way of life for the Mandliks, which comes as no surprise. Their mother, Hana, as in Hana Mandlikova, was a true tennis champion hailing from the Czech Republic. She won four Grand Slam titles in eight Grand Slam final appearances, and won a total of 27 career singles titles. Ranked as high as No. 3 in the world, she made a mark on many occasions such as at the 1985 U.S. Open, where en route to the title she defeated Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

When Mandlikova decided to introduce her twins to tennis she didn’t worry about them having to live with a famous mother who played the sport. She, herself, handled being the daughter of a famous father, although her dad was an Olympic sprinter, who was a 10-time European champion in the 100 and 200-meter races.

The brother and sister act are both all court players. Elizabeth shows great athleticism and variety in her game, and Mark possesses a one-handed backhand and great touch.

Korda’s parents were both established players in their own right. Dad, Petr, the 1998 Australian Open champion, is Korda’s principle coach although the 17-year-old still works out of the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Mom, Regina Rajchrtova, ranked in the top 30 in the world, and like her husband represented their native Czech Republic.

Korda was off to a good start in Mexico City with a 64 63 win over Mexico’s Daniel Moreno.

Girls’ top seed Whitney Osuigwe, chasing the year-end No. 1 ranking, accepted a wildcard into the tournament and posted a 63 62 first round win over Andreaa Velcea of Romania. Osuigwe currently holds the No. 1 position with 1373.75 points but has Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk, the recent ITF Junior Masters champion, nipping at her heels in second place with 1333.75 points.

The first round delivered five fallen seeds, three in the boys’ competition, and two in the girls’ draw.

Seventh seed Ania Aertel of Poland lost to Diae El Jardi of Morocco 26 63 64, and 11th seed Georgia Drummy of Ireland fell to Tara Malik of USA 16 75 64.

Boys seeds to lose were: 11th seed Daniel Michalski of Poland, who was defeated by Sumit Sarkar of USA 63 67 (6) 62, 14th seed Brian Shi of USA who went down to Alan Magadan of Mexico 63 75, and 15th seed Philip Henning of South Africa took a tumble to American wildcard recipient Eliot Spizzirri 67(6) 63 60.