Cairns QLD, Australia, 17 September 2018 | Asher Packman

As the Australian Pro Tour kicks off this week in Queensland, local Thomas Fancutt returns to the Cairns Tennis International as the second seed.

“It’s great to be back playing in my home state and in a position where I am one of the favourites to win the tournament,” Fancutt said. “Cairns is pretty special to me, it’s where I earned my first professional ATP point.

“I’ve always wanted to win this tournament because it’s where it all started.”

Starting in Cairns, the Australian Pro Tour is a combination of International Tennis Federation (ITF) women’s and men’s events plus ATP Challenger tournaments. It comprises 28 tournaments running from September to April next year and offers a prize money pool of more than USD$1 million.

Fancutt, 23, ended the previous Australian Pro Tour on a high note, making the final in Mildura and taking out the doubles title in both Mildura and Renmark. He is currently enjoying a career-high ranking of No.571 after what he acknowledges is his best year on tour.

“It’s been a good experience. I played a lot of ATP Challengers and bigger tournaments and I feel like I’ve just gotten better from being around that environment,” he said. “I’ve definitely got more confidence now.

“I’ve never been a top-four seed at a 25K (ITF Futures $25,000) tournament in Australia. It’s encouraging for me to finish the year strong and do well.”

Fancutt will face Edward Bourchier in the opening round before a potential match-up with British No.6 seed Ryan Storrie in the quarterfinals.

“He’s a pretty tough guy, we’ve played once or twice,” Fancutt said of his first opponent.

Elsewhere in the bottom half of the draw, another fellow Queenslander in veteran Michael Look (No.4) will take on promising teen Mustafa Ibraimi as he hopes to move towards a possible last eight clash with seventh seed Jacob Grills.

The top seed in Cairns, Victorian Jeremy Beale, faces Matthew Romios while Brit Bryden Klein – who qualified before taking the third seed mantle – plays up-and-coming wildcard Alexander Crnokrak in one of the more intriguing first round affairs on offer.

Main draw play commences on Monday at the Cairns International Tennis Club.

Live scores of all Australian Pro Tour events are available through and for a live stream of selected events visit For Australian Pro Tour updates follow @oztennisresults on Twitter.