Melbourne, 23 January 2011 | Tom Kelly
Attention turned to the outside courts on Day 7 of Australian Open 2011 as the tennis stars of tomorrow started battle in the juniors’ competition.
Fifteenth-seeded Australian junior Sean Berman won through to the second round, defeating Brazil’s junior world No.37 Karue Sell, 6-2 6-4.
Berman lost his opening service game and was 0-2 down before he broke back, held serve and levelled the first set at 2-all 15 minutes into the match. The junior world No.24 took the first set in 28 minutes on his third set point after his lower-ranked opponent hit a groundstroke between the tramlines.
The Aussie closed out the match in 63 minutes, following up his straight sets defeat of the Brazilian in their only previous meeting last year. The score line in Berman’s favour was deceptive however; he said afterwards the match was tight.
“It wasn’t an easy win – he’s a good player – I was pretty nervous to begin with because I was on Show Court 3 and there were a few people watching,” he said.
“The second set was pretty close; just one break and at 5-4 I had to really serve well to serve out the match – it was putting a lot of pressure on me.”
Berman said he would like to improve his serve and reduce his unforced errors, but he focused on one match at a time and liked playing at home.
“It’s very enjoyable playing in your own country and having the hometown support,” he said.
“I live in Melbourne, so it’s good I can sleep in my own bed at night and it’s good to be with the family during the tournament.”
The 18-year-old Melburnian will play junior world No.45 Yaraslau Shyla, Belarus’ top junior player, in the second round.
Berman said he didn’t know Shyla “too well” and expected another “very, very tough match”.
In other first round boys’ singles matches featuring local hopes:
10th-seeded Australian Andrew Whittington defeated Romanian Vasile-Alexandru Ghilea, 6-3 3-6 6-1;
Seventh-seeded Australian Ben Wagland lost to Swede Stefan Lindmark, 4-6 4-6;
Australian Andrew Harris lost to German Matthias Wunner, 4-6 3-6;
Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis lost to Korean Jae Hwan Kim, 4-6 5-7;
Australian Jordan Thompson lost to eighth-seeded Jeson Patrombon of the Philippines, 4-6 6-7.