Aussie weekly wrap: Rising stars record major milestones
Taylah Preston and Philip Sekulic both recorded impressive results on the world stage this week.
Taylah Preston and Philip Sekulic are two of the brightest prospects in Australian tennis, as they proved with impressive performances this week.
The 17-year-old Preston broke into the world’s top 10 as a junior last year, but is focusing on competing at the professional level this season.
The Perth teen enjoyed a stellar week in her hometown, claiming her second ITF 25 singles title. This makes Preston, who has now won 18 of her past 22 matches on the pro circuit, the youngest Australian to win multiple titles at this level in seven years.
The 20-year-old Sekulic is enjoying a breakout season of his own. The Queensland talent started the season ranked No.543, but is now set to break into the world’s top 300 after making a memorable tour-level main-draw debut in China.
Sekulic qualified at an ATP tournament for the first time, then scored a maiden top-100 win in Chengdu.
It was a week to remember for Storm Hunter too, who defended a WTA doubles title for the first time in her career. This effort is set to propel the 29-year-old to a new career-high ranking of world No.2.
Hunter was among six Australian players to win professional titles this week.
This week’s most outstanding performers include:
Storm Hunter: The 29-year-old defended her WTA 1000 doubles title in Guadalajara (Mexico) alongside Belgian Elise Mertens. This is Hunter’s seventh career WTA doubles title and third at WTA 1000 level. Hunter also scored her first main-draw singles win at WTA 1000 level since March 2021.
Chris O’Connell: The 29-year-old advanced to the singles quarterfinals at an ATP 250 tournament in Chengdu (China). O’Connell has won nine of his past 11 matches and was making his sixth tour-level quarterfinal appearance of the season.
Jordan Thompson: The 29-year-old defeated two higher-ranked opponents to reach the singles quarterfinals at the ATP 250 tournament in Chengdu. This was Thompson’s fourth tour-level quarterfinal appearance of the season.
Philip Sekulic: The 20-year-old notched several major milestones at the ATP 250 tournament in Chengdu. Sekulic qualified at an ATP event for the first time, then scored a first top-100 win against world No.88 Nuno Borges, before extending world No.18 Lorenzo Musetti to three sets.
Jordan Thompson and Max Purcell: After facing off in the opening round in singles (with Thompson scoring his fifth top-50 win of the season), the Aussie pair teamed up to reach the doubles quarterfinals in Chengdu.
Alex Bolt: The 30-year-old progressed to the second round at an ATP 250 tournament in Zhuhai (China) as a qualifier. This was Bolt’s best tour-level result since July 2021.
Marc Polmans: The 26-year-old qualified at an ATP-level event for the first time since September 2021. Polmans, who went onto make the second round at the ATP 250 event in Zhuhai, has now won seven of his past nine singles matches.
Luke Saville: The 29-year-old’s singles return continues to gain momentum, qualifying for an ATP-level event (in Zhuhai) for the first time in seven years.
Dane Sweeny: The 22-year-old qualified at an ATP event for the first time in his career, earning a main-draw spot in Zhuhai.
Tristan Schoolkate and Adam Walton: The 22-year-old Schoolkate and 24-year-old Walton advanced to the doubles semifinals at an ATP Challenger in Colombus (USA). Schoolkate also progressed to the quarterfinals in singles.
Elysia Bolton and Alexandra Bozovic: The Aussie duo were doubles finalists at an ITF 60 tournament in Berkeley (USA). It was the sixth final appearance this season for both 23-year-old Bolton and 24-year-old Bozovic.
Taylah Preston: The 17-year-old won the singles title at an ITF 25 tournament in her hometown of Perth. Preston did not drop a set and defeated three higher-ranked opponents to claim her second career ITF title. Preston also finished runner-up in doubles alongside Talia Gibson.
Destanee Aiava and Maddison Inglis: The Aussie pair won their second consecutive doubles title at the ITF 25 event in Perth. It is 23-year-old Aiava’s fifth doubles title of the season and 25-year-old Inglis’ second.
Talia Gibson: The 19-year-old finished runner-up in the singles event at the ITF 25 tournament in Perth. It was Gibson’s second consecutive finals appearance on the Australian Pro Tour. Gibson was also a doubles finalist.
Blake Mott: The 27-year-old won the singles title at an ITF 25 tournament in Darwin. This is Mott’s fifth career singles title and his second in the past fortnight.
Thomas Fancutt: The 28-year-old won his second consecutive Australian Pro Tour doubles title at the ITF 25 tournament in Darwin. Fancutt claimed his 23rd career title alongside New Zealand’s Ajeet Rai.
Jake Delaney: The 26-year-old advanced to his first ITF singles final at the Australian Pro Tour event in Darwin, where he recorded a runner-up finish.
Blake Bayldon and Brandon Walkin: The 24-year-old Bayldon and 29-year-old Walkin were doubles finalists at the ITF 25 tournament in Darwin.
Thomas Braithwaite: The 23-year-old was a doubles finalist at an ITF 15 tournament in Monastir (Tunisia) with Germany’s Max Wiskandt. Braithwaite also advanced to the singles quarterfinals.
Maya Joint: The 17-year-old won the biggest singles title of her junior career at an ITF J300 tournament in Houston (USA). Joint also won the doubles title with American Ariana Anazagasty-Pursoo.
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