Aussies move closer to junior Open final
It was another positive day for Aussie junior duo Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis on Wednesday.
It was another positive day for Aussie junior duo Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis on Wednesday with both boys advancing to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open junior event and looking in good shape to continue their charge.
Wildcard Kokkinakis kicked off proceedings today by downing Frenchman Enzo Couacaud 6-2 6-0, effectively bullying his opponent from the baseline with his punishing groundstrokes.
The 16-year-old has rocketed onto the tennis scene this summer and is beginning to show the country what might be to come in the future.
After suffering a stress fracture in his back in 2011 which sidelined him for seven months, Kokkinakis said it feels good to be playing consistently and that he’s relieved the results he’s been working hard to achieve are beginning to come to fruition.
The Australian blazed through his opening set in only 27 minutes aided by Couacaud’s poor 35 per cent first serve efficiency. The second set was even worse for the Frenchman who was dominated at the baseline, unable to contain the power and accuracy of his opponent.
“Today I felt like I played a good match. I played confidently and executed my gameplan,” Kokkinakis said.
“I’m just happy I’m into the quarters.
“You’ve got to come into [the tournament] thinking you can win it … and I just believed in my game today.”
As for Australia’s newest world No.1 junior Nick Kyrgios, his match with fellow Aussie, former doubles partner and good friend Omar Jasika came with an air of intrigue, but the 17-year-old prevailed 6-4 6-3.
It was the Kyrgios’ bold play that helped him over the line – and while his 30 unforced errors didn’t looked great on paper, they were tempered by 23 winners compared to his opponent’s eight.
The third seed has been tipped by many to take out the championship and he says there’s no reason why he can’t do so.
“I definitely think I can beat any player in the draw but I know I’m going to have to play some really good tennis,” Kyrgios said.
Kyrgios raced to a 4-2 lead in the opening set only for Jasika to claw back and level the scores at 4-all.
But the challenge only spurred Kyrgios on, who began to step into the court and blast winners seemingly at will from the baseline, eventually pulling away for a comprehensive victory.
While there is still a lot more tennis to be played, the 17-year-old made no secret that he wouldn’t be surprised by an appearance in the final against Kokkinakis.
“[Kokkinakis] has got one of the best games by far in the juniors and he’s transitioned really well,” Kyrgios said.
“If he plays well and I play well that’s definitely going to be the match-up in the final, I think.”
It wasn’t all smiles for the Australian pair, however, as they went down in their doubles quarterfinal match to Couacaud and 17-year-old Italian Stefano Napolitano 6-2 6-4.
But the day’s doubles results weren’t all doom and gloom for the locals as Jay Andrijic and Bradley Mousley advanced to a semifinal after taking down Korean duo Seong Chan Hong and Young Seok Kim 7-6(4) 6-4.
The pair only needed 65 minutes to get the job done and are yet to drop a set all tournament.
Kyrgios will play seventh seed Wayne Montgomery in his quarterfinal tomorrow while Kokkinakis will face second-seeded Italian Gianluigi Quinzi.