To Nanjing via Wimbledon
2 July 2014
TENNIS: Before they head to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, the four young Aussie tennis aces bound for China have been flexing their muscle in the Wimbledon Junior competition.
Harry Bourchier, Marc Polmans, Priscilla Hon and Naiktha Bains are part of an eight-strong Australian Junior contingent at Wimbledon 2014. The four had hoped the All England Club would be ideal preparation ahead of the YOG in August, but they have faced mixed fortunes in the opening round.
Eighteen-year-old Bourchier is the only YOG-bound Aussie to progress into the second round so far. The 36th ranked Tasmanian triumphed against Peruvian Juan Jose Rosas 6-2 7-6 (7-3), serving up six aces to one in the process.
Bourchier took the first set comfortably before the Peruvian mounted a comeback in the second set, creating a tie-break which Bourchier eventually won 7-3. The result sets up a second round bout with Tim Van Rijthoven from the Netherlands.
YOG teammate Polmans fought valiantly in a tough match against Logan Smith from the United States. The 39th-ranked Aussie narrowly dropped the first set 7-5, before going down 6-2 in the second.
In the girl’s draw, 16th-ranked Hon also encountered trouble. The 16-year-old fought hard but was unable to trump her British opponent, going down 6-2 6-2 to Katie Boulter.
Australia’s other female YOG tennis player, Bains, is yet to take to the court in her first round clash with Belgian, Greetje Minnen.
Even though some of the YOG athletes did not get the results they were after at the Junior Slam, it is all invaluable time on the court ahead of the YOG in August.
Junior Wimbledon Update
The Aussie Youth Olympic Games tennis players have been knocked out of Wimbledon Juniors. Playing her first round match, 16th-seeded Naiktha Bains was upset by Belgian Greetje Minnen 6-3 6-4.
The only YOG tennis player to make the second round, Harry Bourchier, suffered the narrowest of defeats against Dutchman Tim Van Rijthoven, going down 6-4 7-6 (9-7). Bourchier almost matched Van Rijthoven in winners, with 20 to 24, but the Tasmanian recorded a costly 30 unforced errors compared with 20 from the other side of the net.