Melbourne, Australia, 23 January 2012 | David Packman
Jack Schipanski has caused a major upset on the second day of the Australian Open junior event, bundling out second seed and junior world number two, Thiago Monteiro.
After dropping the first set, Schipanski stunned the highly-credentialed Brazilian lefty with his adventurous game, coming back to win a thoroughly entertaining match 2-6 6-3 6-4.
Schipanski currently has a ranking of 165 in the ITF Juniors and required a wildcard to compete in this event. He is clearly on the rise though, starting last year just inside the top 300.
There was plenty of local support out on court 18, which steadily increased in number as Schipanski moved ever closer to securing the upset. He gave himself a lot of opportunities in the final set, opening up on his return to create a total of seven break points.
On the other hand, Monteiro seemed to be tightening, producing a number of uncharacteristic errors. Schipanski took full advantage, and despite double-faulting to open the game when serving for the match, held firm and finished things at the second asking with a sliding ace down the middle.
Schipanski listed today’s victory as his best ever on the junior circuit. He said his biggest strength, the element of variety, was key to overcoming the powerful Brazilian.
“At important times today, I managed to mix it up and mess with [Monteiro’s] game a little bit. It probably helped me in the end,” he said.
Meanwhile, his doubles partner Luke Saville, the top seed this week, was untroubled by his opponent, Israeli’s Or Ram-Harel, ripping through the match 6-1 6-1. Saville will be hoping to go one better than his runner-up result here last year and, judging from today’s performance, looks to be in some fine touch.
“I feel like I executed my game plan pretty well out there today and played some good tennis,” he said after the match.
On the expectations of being the favourite at his home slam, Saville was circumspect. “I’m just going about my business, taking it one match at a time,” he said.
Saville was also on hand to witness his great mate Schipanski score his big win.
“I couldn’t be happier to see Jack knock off Monteiro,” he said. “It’s going to really build his confidence.”
An impressive victory also came from yet another South Australian wildcard today in Brad Mousley. Pitted against Romania’s Stefan Vinti, ranked some 300 places above him, Mousley played superbly to take the first set and put himself in the driver’s seat deep in the second.
Despite some nerves towards the end, he managed to hold firm when it counted and get the job done 6-3 7-6(6).
In other boy’s results, Thanasi Kokkinakis was gallant in defeat, losing to eleventh-seed Kimmer Coppejans 7-5 6-2. Kokkinakis went toe-to-toe with his opponent in the first set but the talented Belgian then pulled away to win comfortably.
The Aussie girls did not fare quite so well today, with wildcards Brooke Rischbieth and Belinda Woolcock both losing in straight sets to their higher-ranked opponents.
However, late yesterday, wildcard Georgiana Ruhrig defeated Israeli qualifier Valeria Patiuk 7-6(4) 0-6 6-4 to book her place in the second round along with West Australian Storm Sanders.