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'I named my cat after Rafael Nadal - I love the guy,' says ATP ace ahead of showdown

Rafa to play super-fan Korda in fourth round.
Rafael Nadal celebrates

Sebastian Korda has revealed he has named his cat after his 'biggest idol' Rafael Nadal as he prepares to face him at Roland Garros.

The US youngster, who is the son of former Australian Open champion Petr Korda, eased into the third round of the French Open on Saturday, beating Pedro Martinez in straight sets.

That set-up a match-up against 12-time winner Nadal in the last 16, and it's one he's excited about.

“Growing up, I named my cat Rafa after him,” Korda said when asked about Rafael Nadal. “That says a lot about how much I love the guy.

“He’s my biggest idol. He’s one of the reasons I play tennis.

Korda Rafael Nadal cat
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“Just watching him play, unbelievable competitor. Just from him I have the never-give-up mentality. Whenever I’m on court, I try to be like him.”

Korba said it was actually a Novak Djokovic match that inspired him to make the move into tennis, though.

He was watching a match at the 2009 US Open, when Djokovic was playing Radek Stepanek, who was coached by his father at the time.

“It was on Ashe stadium, 10:30 at night, totally packed,” he explained.

“I thought it was the coolest thing. Went home, came back the next year and said, This is exactly what I want to do. The rest is history.”

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