Teens lead Aussie qualifying charge
Six Australians kept the dream of securing a berth in the main draw alive on Wednesday when they advanced to the second round of qualifying for the 2015 Australian Open.
Six Australians advanced to the second round of qualifying for the 2015 Australian Open Melbourne on Wednesday, with a two 17-year-olds stealing the show.
Omar Jasika and Marc Polmans both landed major upsets to advance a step closer to a berth in the main draw.
Jasika, the 2014 U.S Open junior champion, made the most of his wildcard into qualifying when he cruised past Frenchman Mathias Bourgue in straight sets 7-5 6-4.
The 17-year-old from Melbourne took just 94 minutes to dispose of his opponent who is ranked over 300 positions higher than him.
Polmans, also 17, ensured that his tournament would continue when he put on a strong display against Spaniard Jordi Samper-Montana winning 7-6 (7) 6-1.
After prevailing 9-7 in a tough first-set tiebreak , Polmans dominated the second set en route to an emphatic victory.
Four other Australians also booked their spot in the second round.
John-Patrick Smith caused a boil-over when he downed 20th seed Alexander Zverev 7-6 (8) 6-4.
Smith fought hard to take an epic first set tiebreak 10-8. With scores level at 4-4 in the second set, the 25-year-old from Townsville broke Zverev’s serve and went on to close out the match.
Zverev was the Australian Open junior champion in 2014 who is currently ranked just outside the top 100 and is a big scalp for Smith.
Blake Mott continued the Aussie assault by defeating Belgian Arthur De Greef 6-4 7-5.
Despite a ranking some 347 places below his rival, the 18-year-old from Thirroul in New South Wales, showed experience beyond his years to seal a methodical victory.
Victorian local Andrew Harris continued the form that saw him reach a seminal at Happy Valley last week. The 20-year-old showed terrific nerve to win a second-set tiebreak and defeat experienced Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung 6-3 7-6 (7).
New South Welshman Dane Propoggia won through to the second round when he defeated former Australian Brydan Klein in straight sets 6-4 6-4.
Propoggia broke the Klein’s serve in the ninth game of both the first and second sets before serving out to win each set.
In other Australian results, Mathew Ebden went desperately close to upsetting German 24th seed Matthias Bachinger before losing in three sets. Ebden had multiple match-point opportunities in the second set but could not capitalise on them and was eventually overrun 4-6 7-6 (7) 6-3.
Maverick Banes went down to American Jared Donaldson 6-3 6-2 and Harry Bourchier was defeated by 14th seed Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-0 6-2.
Benjamin Mitchell was another casualty, losing to Ukrainian 26th seed Illya Marchenko 7-6 (4) 6-4, Gavin Van Peperzeel was eliminated by Belgian Maxime Authom 6-2 6-3 and Matt Reid was defeated by Axel Michon from France 7-5 6-4.