Melbourne Park, 10 December 2012 | Alana Mitchelson

Third seed Matt Reid overcame Jacob Grills on Monday afternoon in a match just short of three hours as the Australian Open 2013 Play-off got underway.

A relieved Reid did not foresee the match being quite as challenging as it ultimately proved to be, with Reid enduring his first five-set match.

It was, however, 17-year-old Victorian Jacob Grills who took ownership of the match in the beginning, establishing several breaks to secure the first two sets 6-3 6-3.

“He was just playing too good for me. Anytime I hit to his backhand he just hit a winner so I tried to hit to his forehand but even at the start he was hitting some winners off that,” Reid reflected after the match.

In an effort to change the pace of the ball and take command of play, Reid mixed his game with slow, slice drop shots and hard, forceful smashes that built his confidence levels to start breaking back.

“I think because I’m older and probably more experienced I knew he’d be a little nervous trying to serve it out, so I just tried to focus on getting an early break in the third and just tried to build on that and once I got the early break and it kind of rolled on from there.”

Reid’s game improved out of sight from there forward and his play grew far more aggressive as he was eager to make the most of his opportunity to dominate the next three sets and clinch the match.

“It’s hard mentally, when you get down two sets to love, to try to motivate yourself to keep going but I felt like if it had been best of three I’d already lost whereas this was just a chance to keep going so it was almost like a second chance for me, so tried to use it a positive rather than a negative.”

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Matt Reid began playing tennis at the age of six on an asphalt tennis court in his backyard in the rural NSW town of Dural.

He was an avid follower of the tennis and loved to watch the Australian Open and Hopman Cup on television with his family and friends.

Throughout his childhood and adolescence, however, football was the sport that he wished to pursue, taking a preference towards team sports that were socially more enjoyable.

After suffering a fairly serious injury to his back at the age of 16 in his last ever football game, Reid decided to take this as a gift in disguise rather than a setback. Reid decided that he was not physically built to play a contact sport, a decision that allowed his love for tennis to flourish.

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Reid admitted to recently having a number of conversations with family and friends regarding potential alternative career paths and is adamant that for the moment, he can only picture himself pursuing tennis.

Currently ranked No.311, Reid’s greatest highlight thus far was reaching the Boys’ Juniors doubles final at Wimbledon in 2008 and being only two points away from winning the match.

Moving into the next round, Reid hopes to start off his next match more aggressively and will be listening to his favourite song before proceeding to the court, Swedish House Mafia’s Don’t You Worry Child to get him into the zone prior to the match.

“I think I’m going to have to try to be more aggressive. Players such as Luke Saville like to take control of the court and I think I’ve got to do a better job at that. Today I started off a bit slow.

“I just want to keep improving and to keep enjoying the sport like I am right now.”

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