Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis pulled off one of the great qualifying upsets to move a step closer to the Brisbane International main draw.
Boom Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis took another step toward fulfilling his “next big thing” tag by pulling off a huge upset in Brisbane International men’s qualifying on Sunday.
The US Open junior finalist – the world No.628 – downed Kazakhstan’s top 100 player Andrey Golubev 6-4 7-5 to move into the final round of qualifying.
The 17-year-old from Adelaide appeared untroubled by the top seeded qualifier who was ranked a remarkable 546 places higher than the local hope.
Kokkinakis is now only one win away from joining compatriots Lleyton Hewitt, Marinko Matosevic, Matt Ebden, fellow teenage prodigy Nick Kyrgios and James Duckworth in the men’s main draw.
It added to the hype surrounding Kokkinakis who appears fighting fit after a history of back stress fractures.
Big things are expected of Kokkinakis and fellow teenager Kyrgios – the reigning Australian Open boys’ champion – who was given a Brisbane International main draw wildcard.
Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley has already described the pair as the “two best players under the age of 20 in the world”.
Meanwhile, fellow Australian Ben Mitchell was not so lucky, bowing out 7-5 5-7 7-6 to world No.151 Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France in qualifying on Sunday.
The Brisbane International men’s main draw action begins on Monday with Kyrgios taking on countryman Matthew Ebden.
The WA-based Ebden was one of the big movers in the 2013 rankings after a successful run at the second tier Challenger level cut his ranking from 153rd to 68th, close to his career high of 61.
He is already guaranteed an Australian Open main draw place alongside Davis Cup teammates Bernard Tomic, Hewitt and Matosevic.
The Brisbane International will mark the 26-year-old Ebden’s first ATP main draw match since early July due to his Challenger circuit stint.