Korda, Lendl and the intersection of tennis and golf
By John Strege
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Jessica Korda and Isabelle Lendl have last names that would be more familiar to tennis fans than golf fans, for the moment, at least. Each is an offspring of a tennis star and each was in the field at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
"Isabelle and I grew up together," Korda (shown here), the daughter of former Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda, said after concluding a round of four-under par 68 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course. She is tied for third heading into the final round.
"We played tennis before, but we both stink at it."
Lendl, 21 and the daughter of Ivan Lendl, is an amateur who plays golf at Florida and was playing here on a sponsor invitation. She missed the cut after rounds of 84 and 89.
Korda, 20, said she and Isabelle often played golf together at home in Bradenton, Fla.
"She'd pick me up from school, take me to school, and pick me up again, then we'd go to golf," Korda said. "Then she'd come over to the house and we'd hang out and she would learn how to speak Czech and she'd help me learn to write better papers for English."
Petr is a Czech native, who won the Australian Open in 1998, with a four-year-old Jessica in the crowd. "I had this purple notebook that I was drawing in and had no idea what was going on," Jessica said. "But I do remember him climbing over the wall and running up to me and my mom and lifting me up and saying that he won."
Jessica, incidentally, won the Australian Women's Open last year to match her dad's Australian Open tennis championship. Now she has a chance to win a major championship to match Petr's Grand Slam victory.
(Getty Images photo)