20 Jan 2012

Australian Open 2012 - Preview

News Article

Photo: Susan MullaneIrina Khromacheva (RUS)

The first junior Grand Slam of 2012 gets underway on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia. Top seed in the girls’ event is Irina Khromacheva (RUS), whose best result in the Grand Slams last year was a runner up position at Wimbledon. She will be looking to go one better in Melbourne, however, will come up against some strong competition.

Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) is the second seed and a semi finalist at the tournament 12 months ago. She had many strong showings on the 2011 circuit, with perhaps her best performance winning the Copa Gerdau, a Grade A event in March. Third seed in the tournament is Anett Kontaveit (EST). Winner of the prestigious Orange Bowl just last November, Kontaveit will be confident of mounting a strong challenge for the title.

Top seed in the boys’ event is Luke Saville (AUS), last year’s runner up. He will be looking for his second junior Grand Slam after claiming his maiden title at Wimbledon last summer. He has started the year strongly with a run through to the final of the Loy Yang Traralgon International this week, narrowly losing out to Filip Peliwo (CAN) in the Championship decider. Thiago Monteiro (BRA) is seeded second for the event and will be looking to improve on his first round elimination in 2011. His best showing on the circuit last year included winning the title at the Copa Gerdau.

There are two other seeded Australians in the form of Andrew Harris and Nick Kyrgios competing in the boys draw. Both enjoyed a strong second half to 2011 which saw them claim a title each. Along with Saville, they will be keen to make the most the home support and go deep into the tournament.