Thompson headlines field in Alice Springs
Jordan Thompson is the man to beat in Alice Springs this week.
With qualifying now complete at the 2015 Alice Springs International, attention has turned to the main draw with first round matches commencing on Monday.
Top seeded Sydneysider Jordan Thompson is currently enjoying a career-high ranking of world No.187 and – as the only player inside the top 200 – looks the man to beat this week. In the opening round, he finds himself up against Czech Robin Stanek, one of eight internationals in the field thus far, which also includes two players from Japan and five from China.
Twenty-one-year-old Thompson will need to play some solid tennis to get past the younger Stanek before heading towards a potential semifinal match-up with up-and-coming third seed Omar Jasika.
Jasika, at 18 years of age and hailing from Melbourne, has backed up his 2014 US Open Junior title with a solid year, boasting wins over players inside the top 100 and breaking inside the world’s top 300 for the first time.
Jasika has a much-anticipated first round encounter with another exciting Aussie teenager, Blake Mott.
Also lurking in the top half of the draw is sixth-seeded Queenslander Maverick Banes, who finds himself up against China’s Ouyang Bowen. If successful, he may book a potential showdown with teenage wildcard Marc Polmans.
Casting our eye to the bottom half of the draw, Alex Bolt stands out as another potential challenger for the title. The second seed from South Australia will be looking to start his Australian Pro Tour campaign strongly and faces a tricky customer in Steven De Waard in his first outing. Should he be successful there, Bolt is on track to face seventh seed Jacob Grills in a quarterfinal before possibly facing in-form Queenslander Gavin Van Peperzeel – a potentially tough match with the fifth seed arguably enjoying his best season to date. Van Peperzeel faces wildcard Mitchell William Robins in his first match.
Fourth seed Li Zhe from China also lurks dangerously in that section of the draw along with another teenage wildcard in Oliver Anderson and a host of qualifiers.
Proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government, the 2015 Alice Springs International gets underway at Tennis Alice Springs in Traegar Avenue, Alice Springs, on Monday September 28, with the final played on Saturday October 3.