Fourlis wins big to reach AO second round
Young Aussie Jaimee Fourlis stunned Anna Tatishvili to reach the second round of Australian Open 2017, while fellow teen wildcard Destanee Aiava was gallant in defeat.
“Winning your first match in a Grand Slam doesn’t come every day. At the moment I’m still trying to take it all in. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Jaimee Fourlis is taking in her Australian Open debut, which was a commanding 6-4 6-3 triumph over American Anna Tatishvili.
Fourlis, cheered on by her family and school friends, earned her ticket in the main draw having prevailed in the wildcard play-off event.
“Yeah, definitely I knew I had a lot of matches at the back of my head. I played 18s, Nationals, then the Wild Card Playoff, added the youngster. “I knew that I could do it. I think definitely it felt good to earn it.”
The Melbourne resident defied her ranking of No.414 to race 5-0 ahead and eventually clinched the first set. The 17-year-old dictated play and fired down 71 per cent first serve success rate to surge into the second round.
“I got off to a good start, then she was able to play some really good tennis. Pretty happy with how I composed myself, stayed calm, stayed in the present, and was able to finish it off.”
She will face Russian No.8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round.
Earlier on Monday, fellow teen sensation Destanee Aiava fell in two tight sets to former world No.23 Mona Barthel.
Aiava admitted she tightened up in the decisive moments of her Australian Open first-round loss to the German.
But the powerhouse 16-year-old showed more than enough promise to suggest she won’t make a habit of it as she becomes a regular fixture on the sport’s biggest stages.
Aiava – the first player born in the 2000s to contest a main-draw match at a major – saved three match points on Monday before going down 6-3 7-6(4).
The German came up short when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but was able to regroup in the tiebreak.
“I played alright but I think I could have done better,” said Aiava.
“I had a lot of chances, but I didn’t take them. I’m going to work on that a lot more. I got a bit tight during the tiebreak and then started rushing, not really thinking through the points.
“That’s just experience or better focus she had than me.”
Aiava said she would wait until she got home before undergoing a full debrief with her coach and mother Rosie.
“This isn’t the first and the last time I’m going to be here – there’s plenty more to come,” said the free-swinging wildcard.
“I learned how to be more composed out there, and I didn’t rush as much. But obviously it wasn’t my day.”
Aiava is already turning heads, with 22-time grand slam champion Serena Williams passing on some salient advice at a promotional opportunity last week.
“She told me to dream big and you’ll achieve big,” said Aaiva.
“She’s quite a nice person. It was a really good experience to get to hit with her.”
Sydney’s James Duckworth fought valiantly but was beaten by Italian Paolo Lorenzi in four sets.
Playing his sixth Australian Open, the 24-year-old fought back from two sets to love down before succumbing 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (7-4) 6-4 at Melbourne Park.
Lorenzi will face 29th-seeded Serbian Victor Troicki in the second round.