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Australian Open 2014

Following the Grand Slam Conference I attended 2 days of qualifying and the first 3 days of main draw of the Australian Open. This year I was particularly interested in watching some of the up-and-coming junior players, especially in the men’s draw with the likes of Thanasi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson all starting to make their mark on the senior tour after successful junior careers.

I was particularly impressed with the fighting spirit shown by 17 year old Kokkinakis who in the first round fought off severe cramping to eventually take-out the No.2 ranked Dutch player Igor Sijsling in four sets. Unfortunately for Kokkinakis his second round match-up was against the Current World No. 1 and 2014 Australian Open Finalist Rafael Nadal. Despite losing to Nadal what a fantastic opportunity for the young Australian to play an opponent like Nadal on such a big stage, I’m sure he’ll draw on the experience for years to come.

Jordan Thompson was this year’s Australian Open Wildcard Playoff winner taking out last year’s winner Ben Mitchell in the final. After leading World No. 21 Jerzy Janowicz by 2 sets to love in the first round of this year’s Australian Open Jordan unfortunately ended up losing 6-1 in the 5th set.  I was really impressed with Jordan’s all-court game and the power of his serve, I’m sure if he keeps building on his mental toughness and belief in tight situations that he’ll be a real force to reckon with in the future.

It’s really exciting to see some young Australian boys coming through and making an impact on the tour, I’ll be interested to keep an eye on their progress over the next few years.

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