21 Jan 2014

Flink falls in the second round

News Article

By Simon Cambers

Photo: Corinne DubreuilVarvara Flink (RUS)

Top seed Alexander Zverev survived a real scare to reach the third round of the Australian Open juniors on Tuesday but his opposite number in the girls’ event, Varvara Flink, was sent packing in a surprise defeat.

Germany’s Zverev needed all his fighting spirit to get past Japanese qualifier Ryotero Matsumura 46 62 97 but Flink was taken down 64 63 by American Olivia Hauger, blowing a hole at the top of the draw in the girls’ event.

Zverev will now play No. 15 seed Marcelo Zormann da Silva of Brazil while Hauger’s reward for her victory is a clash with Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia.

On a breezy day with temperatures in the low 20s Celsius, there were also wins for three players who are coached by a parent.

In the case of Elizaveta Kulichkova of Russia and Australia’s Naiktha Bains, it is their respective fathers, while Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko is coached by her mother.

The parent-child relationship is not always an easy one in tennis but fourth seed Kulichkova said it can also be an advantage.

“Of course it’s difficult, in each relationship,” she said. “You can see Maria Sharapova and her dad and (Caroline) Wozniacki and her dad, all the girls in women’s tennis.

“But I think we did a good job and I want to continue this work. Because all I do, he made this.

Kulichkova, who beat Australia’s Lizette Cabrera 61 63, said she might one day consider bringing someone else in, but was happy how things are.

“Let’s see the examples, for Wozniacki, she’s back with her father,” she said. “It’s always like this.

“All of them who had their father as coach, they changed it, but after some time they all come back. Maybe sometime I will try to change but I’m almost sure it won’t work. I can try but that’s what I think.”

The fourth seed has climbed to No. 264 on the WTA rankings after dedicating herself to the senior ranks in the middle of last year, but said she wanted to win a junior grand slam for her resume.

“I have been playing pro mostly, so this tournament is more like preparation for women’s tournaments for me, next week and the week after next,” she said. “Still, my goal is to win and I think it’s great for a junior to win a grand slam.

“I wouldn’t say I am not feeling pressure. I know I am one of the girls who are expected to win. I feel pressure but I think I will handle it.”

Bains, who enjoyed the support of her home crowd in beating Russia’s Anastasia Shaulskaya 62 62, said she and her father had no trouble separating work from home.

“Its fine, we get on well,” she said. “Obviously off court he’s my dad and on court he’s my coach. We still have fun on the court. Me and him are fine like that.”

Bains now plays sixth seed Ostapenko, who eased past Margot Yerolymos of France 76 62.

The pair have never played each other but Ostapenko said she was looking forward to the challenge as she chases the title.

“I think if I play my game, I can play a good match with anyone,” she said. “Yeah, I will try to play good this week and to reach whatever (level) I can.”

And Ostapenko said she enjoyed having her Mum as coach, no matter how hard it can be at times.

“I think it’s difficult, because I try to understand that on court she’s my coach, but I try to listen to her,” she said. “It’s also a big advantage because she’s known me since I was born, of course, and she knows everything about me, my good and bad sides, and she can help me. Off the court I have a good relationship with my Mum.”

In the day’s other matches, fifth seed Shilin Xu of China was ousted 36 64 75 by Jana Fett of Croatia while 14th seed Katrine Steffensen of the United States was beaten 57 62 61 by home player Destanee Se Aiava.

In the boys’ event, Omar Jasika of Australia took out Austria’s 13th seed Lucas Miedler 61 64 while seventh seed Quentin Halys was among those to advance.

Naiktha Bains (AUS) - 21/01/2014

Elizaveta Kulichkova (RUS) - 21/01/2014

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) - 21/01/2014