Lots of youngsters successfully through to the second round of qualifying in Melbourne. The young Aussie Blake Mott crushed Kudryatsev, Rublev beat Aussie Max Purcell in three, the deaf 18 year old Duckhee Lee came back from a set and double break down to beat five seed Kicker 6-1 in the third, and Casper Ruud cruised past gabashvili. Young Americans along with older Americans fared well. American teens Opelka and Tiafoe advanced along with 20 year old Rubin, 20 year old Escobedo, and 22 year old Krueger. Also Fratangelo, who is still pretty young at 23, won his match. Other American winners were Sarkissian, Rampras, Smyczek, and Kudla. Overall, good start for the Americans in qualifying. 10 out of 16 advancing to the next round. The American losers on day one were Bangoura (took top seed Stepanek to three sets), Kozlov (beat by Bhambri), Sandgren (beat by Coppejans), Baker (beat by Kibi), Klahn (lost to Fabbiano), and Novikov (lost to Kamke).
Other youngsters that won were Akira Santillan of Japan, Bradley Mousley of Australia, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, and Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan. Also, a huge disappointment for me was Pospisil losing to Uladzimir Ignatik (really Vasek?) and a result I was happy about was the big serving De Schepper getting through 9-7 in the third set over the seeded Norbert Gombos.
Also the home contingent fared decently. 5 of 13 Aussies won with Ebden destroying Golubev, Mott demolishing Kudryatsev, Mousley upsetting Fucsovics in three, John-Patrick Smith beating Velotti in straights, and world number 631 Alex Bolt, a former world number 164 in 2015, upset the in form Marius Copil of Romania. The eight Aussie losers were Marinko Matosevic, youngster Scott Jones, Maverick Banes, Max Purcell, Marc Polmans, Gavin Van Peperzeel, Harry Bourchier, and Luke Saville.
Marcus Willis, the Wimbledon week one here, ended last year with a futures title in Kuwait then an early loss at an Egyptian challenger that was apparently somewhat due to an injury. He just started his year at a British futures last week but lost second round to a guy ranked less than 600 and apparently couldn’t find his serve according to a post on his twitter lol. He got his first round win in three sets to start this weeks British futures. Hopefully this time he can make a run at home unlike last week. He’s ranked just inside the top 450. Really hoping the Briton can have a good 2017. I’ve got almost no doubt he will receive a Wimbledon main draw wild card after what he did last year. Come on Willis!!