Photo: Susan MullaneAlexander Zverev (GER)
Alexander Zverev (GER) and Varvara Flink (RUS) have been named as top seeds for the Australian Open which gets underway on Saturday in Melbourne.
Zverev will head to Melbourne full of confidence after securing the title at the AGL Loy Yang Traralgon Junior International, the prestigious warm up event to the Australian Open. In storming to victory he did not drop a set against many players who will also be in the draw in Melbourne. Zverev's best Grand Slam effort has been as a finalist at Roland Garros last year, so he will be highly motivated to go one better at the Australian Open and win his maiden Grand Slam.
Second seed, Stefan Kozlov (USA) will be one of Zverev's big threats in Melbourne. The 15-year-old who was born in Skopje, Macedonia posted three wins against the German in 2013, with two of these at prestigious Grade A events. However, Kozlov suffered a disappointing first round defeat in Traralgon in the tournament's lead up, losing to Bradley Mousley (AUS).
Mousley will be Australia's highest ranked boys’ competitor, currently standing at 24 in the ITF Junior rankings. He will look to emulate the achievements Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios, his fellow countrymen who made the final last year.
Varvara Flink (RUS) headlines the girls draw and just like Zverev arrives in Melbourne full of confidence after winning the lead up event in Traralgon. The 17-year-old from Moscow was also victorious at the Metropolia Orange Bowl International Championship in December, the final event in the 2013 junior calendar. As a result, Flink is currently on a 12 match winning streak.
World number 4 Ivana Jorovic (SRB) will provide Flink with a stern test if they fulfill their seedings and make the final. They contested the finals of both the final two Grade A events in 2013, at the Orange Bowl and Osaka Mayor's Cup, winning one contest each. The Serbian Jorovic will be highly motivated to have a good run in Melbourne, after falling in the second round twelve months ago.
Priscilla Hon and Sara Tomic are the highest ranked Australians in the girls’ event. The 15-year-olds are seeded 11 and 12 respectively, and will look to excite their home crowd with good runs in Melbourne.