Big men shine, Aussies come up short on day one at Kooyong

Posted on January 10, 2017

The opening day of the 2017 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic provided four quality matches on a hot Melbourne afternoon but neither of the Australian players on show were able to win their first match.

In the first of the men’s championships matches, Croatian Ivo Karlovic was added to the group following the late withdrawal of Frenchman Richard Gasquet due to an abdominal issue.

Karlovic served well to overcome Frenchman Gilles Simon in a match that was decided by a super tiebreaker in hot and windy conditions.

That means the 37-year-old will now play in Friday’s final against either defending champion David Goffin from Belgium or Australian Bernard Tomic.

Due to the change in the draw, Jerzy Janowicz was called in to the Blue Group and played well to defeat German Tommy Haas in the second 10-point match tiebreak of the day.

A shout out must go to the player’s desk at the Australian Open who answered the call from tournament director Peter Johnston and found Janowicz walking the corridors on the way to a practice session.

Instead of training the big-hitting Pole was then on his way to Scotch College to warm up for the last match at Kooyong on day one with former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.

The inaugural winner at Kooyong went well above and beyond his duties as the tournament’s official ambassador by filling in as a hitting partner for Janowicz.

Earlier it was local Kooyong product Andrew Whittington who took on Borna Coric in a match that was largely controlled by the Croatian who won 6-3 6-4 as the temperature started to rise.

Women returned to the Kooyong Classic for the first time in 23 years in a match that featured Australian teenager Destanee Aiava who will become the first player born this century to play in a Grand Slam.

The 16-year-old made a very nervous start in the second match, which ended 6-1 7-6, against Sorana Cirstea but played some impressive tennis late in the contest to force a second set tiebreaker.

Match scores, reports and player quotes below




Gates open 10am 


11:00AM – MATCH #1

Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v Andrew Whittington (AUS)


Bernard Tomic (AUS) v David Goffin (BEL)


Yoshihito Nishioka (JAP) v Jerzy Janowicz (POL)


Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)  v Qiang Wang (CHN)


Full match reports can be found via the links below:


Borna Coric (BEL) def Andrew Whittington (AUS)              6-3 6-4                                  Match report


Sorana Cirstea (ROM) def Destanee Aiava (AUS)                 6-1 7-6                                  Match report


Ivo Karlovic (CRO) def Gilles Simon (FRA)                             6-4 6-7 (1-7)                       Match report


Jerzy Janowicz (POL) def Tommy Haas (GER)                      5-7 6-4 (10-4)                     Match report

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