The New South Wales battle between Matt Barton and James Duckworth in Lexington headlines today’s Aussies in Action in the ATP, WTA and ITF.
For the second time in two weeks, Matt Barton will face an Aussie in the first round of an ATP Challenger event.
Last week Barton was defeated by Matt Reid in three sets, this week he faces James Duckworth in what promises to be a fascinating battle between two players who have had big years on the circuit.
Here’s the stats about both players:
Head to Head:
James Duckworth 2 – Matt Barton 0
2011 Poland F1 Future – DUCKWORTH 2-6 6-1 7-5
2011 Australia F1 Future – DUCKWORTH 6-4 6-4
Thoughts on match:
Matt Barton has drawn the short straw for the second week running as he faces another All-Aussie battle. After being defeated by Reid last week, Barton now faces Duckworth in the first round of the Lexington Challenger.
Duckworth has been in brilliant form for the last few months and is heavily favoured for tonight’s match.
Barton on the other hand has struggled since starting the year with his maiden win in the ATP Challenger event in West Lakes.
Duckworth has won both matches between the two and I see him winning tonight to make it 3-0 head to head.
Both players have a damaging serve and both need to use it to their advantage if they are to win the match.
Given Duckworth’s recent success at Grand Slam and ATP level, I see him winning the match tonight.
I won’t be surprised however if this match goes to three sets.
Barton and Duckworth are two of six Aussies in action at the Lexington Challenger with another four players also competing tonight.
Queenslander John-Patrick Smith will play Felip Peliwo in the opening round with the Aussie a big chance to win against the Canadian.
Smith should have too much finesse and mental strength to defeat Peliwo but it will be a close contest.
The former Wimbledon Junior winner is progressing into the senior ranks well and will trouble the Aussie if he is allowed to dictate the play.
I still believe Smith will hold on and progress to the second round.
Fellow Queenslander Ben Mitchell is also in Lexington and faces a tough challenge against Ruben Bemelmans in the opening round.
Mitchell made the quarters last week in the Granby challenger and needs a similar result to have the opportunity to qualify for the US Open.
It will be a tough challenge for the Aussie and he will need to play at his best to succeed.
I fear it’s a step too much and Bemelmans will be too strong for the Aussie.
Adam Feeney is also involved in Lexington and plays qualifier Ilija Bozoljac in the opening round.
(Adam Feeney will try to win his first match in the United States this year)
PHOTO FROM HERE:
Despite showing good from in recent ITF events, Feeney has struggled on the Challenger circuit this year.
In his last 4 Challenger events, the New South Welshman has failed to make the first round of each tournament.
Feeney has a good chance to beat Bozoljac and has defeated the Serbian when he was forced to retire in the Orleans challenger in 2011.
It will be a tough match for Feeney but if he can start well then he can win his first Challenger match in five months.
Greg Jones is also in action after qualifying for the event yesterday against Fritz Wolmarans.
Jones will face Hiroki Moriya in the first round and the New South Welshman faces a good opportunity to progress to the second round.
While Moriya is in good form after making the semi finals in Granby last week, he can be inconsistent at times.
In two meetings against Aussies this year, Moriya has lost both matches with Ben Mitchell and John Millman defeating the Japanese player.
Jones’ serve has been in good form in qualifying with the Aussie winning 82% of his points on his first serve.
If he shows that form against Moriya then he will be very hard to beat.
I reckon he will beat Moriya tonight.
It’s also a big night in the ATP event in Atlanta, and the WTA event in Stanford, with Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur in action.
Hewitt will face Eduoard Roger-Vasselin in the opening round as the South Australian looks to continue his impressive form in recent weeks.
The former world no.1 has turned back the clock after making the semi final in Queen’s, and the final at the Newport event.
Unfortunately for Hewitt the surface moves back to hard court which tends to cause problems for the Aussie in his feet.
These two players have met once before with Hewitt winning 6-4 6-0 in Tokyo in 2009.
I guarantee that score line will not be repeated as Roger-Vasselin has improved immensely since that match.
(Lleyton Hewitt returns to the court after his success in Newport)
PHOTO FROM HERE:
Unfortunately for the Frenchman he is on a 4 match losing streak in the ATP and Hewitt loves attacking a player who is low on confidence.
Hewitt loves three set encounters – rightly or wrongly – and I can see him winning in three against Eduoard.
At the WTA event in Stanford, Sam Stosur is in action as she starts her US Open campaign in the second round.
After receiving a bye in the first round, Stosur faces Olga Govortsova in her first match since the Wimbledon Grand Slam.
Govortsova will be a tough opponent but Stosur should be able to defeat the Belarusian.
She might be rusty at the start of her match but she will find her form and progress to the quarter finals.
(Sam Stosur returns to the court after her third round appearance in Wimbledon)
PHOTO FROM HERE:
Some of the other matches today have already been completed. Here is a run through of those results and the other matches on the ITF circuit tonight.
New South Welshman Dane Propoggia progressed to the second round of the Astana challenger in Kazakhstan.
Propoggia defeated local wildcard Alexey Nesterov 6-3 6-1 and now faces a second round battle against Mikhail Kukushkin.
In the Tampere challenger in Finland, Victorian Andrew Whittington faced Peter Torebko in the opening round.
Whittington was defeated 6-3 6-7 6-1 in the match but showed great fight throughout the match.
In the second set the Aussie was 6-3 4-0 down against the German and fought back to win the next 5 games to win the second set.
He wasn’t able to continue that form into the third set but more experience will help the Victorian in the future.
On the ITF circuit it has been a successful night for Australian’s.
In the Germany F11 future event, Marious Zelba progressed to the second round with a 6-4 6-1 win over Philipp Scholz.
It was a similar story at the Austria F5 event with Jordan Thompson beating Sebastian Wagner 6-2 6-4 in the first round.
Fellow Aussie Jacob Grills also progressed but required three sets to defeat Blaz Bizjak 6-4 2-6 6-4.
It wasn’t so successful for Zach Itzstein who was defeated by Daniel Glancy 6-4 6-2 in the first round of the Ireland F1 future event.
There are two Aussies in action in the USA F20 event with Blake Mott and Jonathon Cooper in action.
Blake Mott faces Michael Shabaz in the first round with Jonathon Cooper facing Connor Farren.
Mott faces a tough match against the fourth seed but has shown good form recently to suggest he can defeat Shabaz.
If the New South Welshman starts well he is a big chance of causing an upset.
I’m going to go for a Mott win in three sets.
In the other match Cooper faces a tough battle against Farren.
This match also looks to be a close affair and it wouldn’t surprise me if it heads to three sets.
I lean towards Cooper to win the match but this is a danger match for the Australian.
On the women’s side the story is all about 15 year old Pamela Boyanov who won her first ever WTA point in the 10,000 Istanbul event.
The Aussie defeated Melissa Sehovic 6-1 6-0 in the first round and could be someone too look out for in the future.
Fellow Aussie Deeon Mladin wasn’t so lucky and was defeated by Anastasiya Saitova 6-3 6-4
4 other Aussies are also in action in other ITF events around the world.
Ashley Keir will battle Despina Papamichail in the 10,000 Viserba Di Rimini in a tough match.
Jessica Moore will face Anett Kontaveit in the 25,000 Wrexham event with Olivia Rogowska up against Petra Januskova in the first round.
Finally, Julia Moriarty will face Rosalia Alda in the first round of the 10,000 Austin event in the United States as she starts the campaign as the number 1 seed.