Top seeds untroubled in Cairns
Top seeds Omar Jasika, Dayne Kelly and Alex Bolt all progress with ease in Cairns while Jason Kubler wins battle of former junior world No.1's.
The top three seeds all cruised through their opening rounds at the Cairns Tennis International on Wednesday with Victorians Omar Jasika and Dayne Kelly, as well as South Australian Alex Bolt, all progressing for a combined loss of just seven games.
Top seed Jasika made short work of Daniel Nolan dropping just a single game while his compatriot Dayne Kelly (No.2) dispatched veteran qualifier Michael Look 6-1 6-2. Not to be outdone, Bolt (No.3) followed suit, defeating qualifier Lucas Vuradin 6-2 6-1.
The twilight match saw two former junior world No.1’s face off when the resurgent Jason Kubler – a finalist in Toowoomba last week – took on No.7 seed Luke Saville.
It was Kubler who prevailed, seemingly shaking off a shoulder complaint which hampered him in the Toowoomba final to control the match and post a satisfying 6-3 6-4 victory in 95 minutes.
“It was pretty cool when they were going through the info on me and Luke at the start of the match. I was thinking there’s a fair bit between the two of us,” Kubler said of their stellar junior careers. Both have also been ranked well within the world’s top 200, with Kubler reaching No.136 and Saville No.152.
“That was a really good win for me. Probably the best I’ve had since I came back this year,” he added. “If I can go on and have a good week here in Cairns then that will really give me a lot of confidence because it shows me that I can back it up.
“I was a bit disappointed with the final last week but I’m pretty pleased with the way everything is going.”
Kubler will next play Blake Ellis before a potential showdown with top seed Jasika.
Andrew Whittington also posted a solid win on Wednesday, defeating qualifier Jesse Delaney, while local favourite Maverick Banes progressed after Jesse’s older brother Jake Delaney was forced to retire down a set and a break of serve.
Toowoomba winner Andrew Harris continued his good Australian Pro Tour form with a win over wildcard Calum Puttergill, however local Queenslander and wildcard Ben Mitchell was not so fortunate, bowing out to China’s Gao Xin in three sets.