National Academy Adelaide athletes Lawrence Bataljin, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Bradley Mousley and Jack Schipanski continue their transition from junior to senior ranks this week, competing in the Alice Springs Tennis International. The Pro Tour event features some of Australia’s brightest young talent including former Junior Wimbledon winner Luke Saville and also a host of international players from Israel, Japan, New Zealand and the United States of America.
National Academy head coach Milo Bradley is travelling with the team throughout the Pro Tour Circuit which started last week in Cairns said “The athletes have had a strong build up to the start of spring with the main priority being placed on resistance training and movement with National Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach Daniel Buberis.”
Lawrence Bataljin was the only player in the squad competing in the qualifying event on Sunday with the other athletes already in the main draw either by direct acceptance or wildcard. The size of the qualifying draw meant Bataljin had to win two rounds for his spot in the main draw which he achieved for the first time in his career defeating Northern Territory’s Matthew Delsar 6-3, 6-1 in the final round. The result provided Bataljin with a lot of confidence heading into the first round of the main draw however he was unable to overcome number one seed Sam Groth, losing 6-2, 6-0.
Bradley Mousley won his first Main Draw match in a singles Pro circuit event. The win earned him his 1st ATP point. Mousley defeated Adam Miles 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in 2 hours and 50 minutes. Mousley then went on to play the eighth seed Nick Lindahl, losing in a highly competitive encounter 6-4, 2-6, 6-7. The first round win gave Mousley a professional ranking, a goal which he had set out to achieve at the start of the year.
“To achieve one of my main goals at the start of the year here in Alice Springs is really exciting, hopefully I can build on this in the coming weeks and win some more main draw matches.”
The National Academy pairing of Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jack Schipanski had the difficult task of playing each other in the first round which saw Kokkinakis defeat Schipanski 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in a highly physical encounter. Kokkinakis then continued his recent run of good form by advancing to the quarter finals before losing to fellow South Australian Luke Saville 6-3, 6-0.
Bataljin’s singles success saw him and his partner Adam Lasky rewarded with a wildcard into the main draw of the doubles event with the other squad members gaining direct acceptance. The doubles draw saw all National Academy athletes competing in a crowded bottom half with the number four seeds of Kokkinakis and Schipanski teaming together to reach the quarter finals before losing to the unseeded pairing Adam Feeney and Nick Lindahl 6-4, 3-6 [10-5].
The men’s Pro Circuit moves to South Australia in the coming weeks with tournaments at Happy Valley and Port Pirie Tennis Clubs, while the women’s Pro Circuit also comes to South Australia with tournaments at Salisbury and Port Pirie Tennis Clubs.