Oliver Anderson produces the win of his life during ATP Brisbane qualifying
Adam Addicott, Tennis Atlantic
As the world embarks on the new tennis season, many have spoken about the teenagers that could make a name for themselves on the tour this year. One of these names not on the list is 17-year-old Oliver Anderson who has produced a massive upset at the Brisbane International qualifying draw.
Wildcard entrant Anderson is currently ranked 813th in the world and has only won eight main draw matches so far in his career. Despite having the odds against his, he upset 8th seed Denis Novikov in three sets (3-6, 6-4, 6-4) to set up a meeting with Tim Smyczek. Smyczek defeated Matt Reid in three sets in his first round match. Placed 709 places below the American in the ATP rankings, Anderson played the tennis of his life to stun the fourth seed 6-7(3), 7-6(1), 6-2. The win comes two weeks after the teenager started working with former tennis player Wayne Arthur. The Queenslander player spoke of his shock during his after match press conference.
Top seed Ernests Gulbis kicked-off his 2016 season in disappointment following a straight sets loss to Yoshihito Nishioka (6-3, 6-4). The former French Open semifinalist started qualifying in solid fashion with a 6-4, 6-2, win over Romania’s Marius Copil in the opening round. Facing the Japanese 20-year-old Gulbis had difficulty handling Nishioka’s serve. Throughout the match, the 5th seed faced one break point, which he saved, compared to Gulbis who faced six. Nishioka is currently at a career ranking high of 117th in the world. Last year he ended his season by winning the ATP Toyota Challenger.
Germany’s Tobias Kamke reminded everybody of his talent during his successful qualifying campaign. Kamke has been ranking as high as 64th in the world back in 2011, however, a inconsistent 2015 resulted in him falling down the rankings to 277th in the world. During the off-season, he reportedly spent time working with Sascha Nensel and Dusan Lajovic. The training seemed to have paid off when he defeated 7th seed Norbert Gombos 6-2, 7-5 in the first round. In the final round, he faced unseeded Estonian Jurgen Zopp. Zopp defeated third seed Thiemo de Bakker in his first round match. During the match, which consisted of some lengthy games, Kamke eased himself to a 6-3, 6-2, win after an hour and 12 minutes on the court.
Finally, Ivan Dodig was the highest ranked player to qualify for the main draw. The second seed opened up with a 6-1, 6-3, win over 2014 US Open boys’ champion Omar Jasika. Jasika will play in the upcoming Australian Open after being awarded a wildcard from Tennis Australia. Awaiting him in the last round was talented American 19-year-old Jared Donaldson. Last year Donaldson won his first Challenger title in Maui. The match was a tightly contested match with Dodig breaking the American’s serve in the final game of the match to book his place in the main draw, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Main draw matches for the qualifiers
(Q) Tobias Kamke vs. (WC) Benjamin Mitchell
(Q) Yoshihito Nishioka vs. Lucas Pouille
(Q) Ivan Dodig vs. (Q) Oliver Anderson