Junior Open begins on Saturday
The future of Aussie tennis will be on display at Melbourne Park this Saturday when the junior tournaments kick off at the 2015 Australian Open.
The future of Australian tennis will be on display at Melbourne Park this Saturday when the junior tournaments kick off at the Australian Open.
Australia will be well represented in both draws with a total of 28 locals set to take part in the first round of their respective tournaments.
In the boys’ draw, 11 Australians will grace the Plexicushion, spearheaded by 16th seed Akira Santillan.
The hard-hitting 17-year-old will open his 2015 account against Russian Boris Pokotilov.
Marc Polmans, who recently progressed to the second round of qualifying at the Australian Open, is another who is sure to be prominent.
He will face a litmus test early when he meets French 10th-seed Corentin Denolly in the first round.
Also engaged in the boys’ draw are Jake Delaney, Daniel Nolan, Daniel Hobart, Alexei Popyrin, Scott Jones, Mitch Harper, Alex de Minaur, Brian Tran, and Blake Ellis.
Australians will make up more than a quarter of the girls’ draw, including three of the seeds.
Kimberly Birrell, who reached the semifinals of this tournament a year ago, leads the Aussie charge as the sixth seed.
She recently contested the final of the Traralgon Junior International and has to be considered one of the main chances. She launches her 2015 campaign against Brit Maia Lumsden.
Current junior world No.22 Naiktha Bains is seeded seventh for the tournament and will clash with Lucie Wargnier from France in her opening encounter.
Seone Mendez is the third Aussie to be seeded. The 15-year-old is currently 30th in the junior world rankings and fills the 13th seed position at Melbourne Park. Her opening assignment is against Greet Minnen from Belgium.
National 18-and-under championship finalists Olivia Tjandramulia and Maddison Inglis are another two who will be worth keeping an eye on during the course of the tournament after proving themselves against the best in the country.
Precocious 14-year-old Destanee Aiava could well be an improver. She made the round of 16 last year and has the ability go even further in 2015.
Priscilla Hon has been ranked as high as world junior No.13 and could spring a few surprises if she finds her best form.
Other Australians who will appear in the first round are Chloe Hule, Kaylah McPhee, Jaimee Fourlis, Petra Hule, Jeanette Lin, Anja Dokic, Sara Tomic, Violet Apisah, Michaela Haet and Nicole Kraemer.