Joint snaps Brit qualifier’s run

AFTER a gruelling three-hour opening round win over a seeded opponent, Australian young gun Maya Joint had an easier task in her 58-minute rout of British qualifier, Isabelle Lacy. In a strong performance from the 17-year-old, Joint won 6-2 6-1 to move into the Round of 16 and set up a huge third round match against top seed, Slovakian Renata Jamrichova.

Joint has a lot to like about her game, and while inconsistent, her ability to hit winners across the court was superb yesterday. She produced 16 winners to Lacy’s 11, whilst committing 18 unforced errors to her opponents’ 22.

As juniors, both players are prone to dropping service games, and this was no different, as Lacy broke the Australian twice, but luckily for Joint, she found six breaks of serve among 14 opportunities. The Brit qualifier held serve just once in the match, as the player who took a set off Dayana Yastremska in the women’s singles qualifying was too strong.

Joint was rock solid off her first serve which is where it made the difference, winning 21 of 28 points (75 per cent), while Lacy only managed 16 of 37 (43) to really struggle against Joint’s power on return. In the end, the impressive victory was an ominous message to tournament favourite Jamrichova, who has powered along into the Round of 16 herself.

In a rare quirk, Joint faced off against Lacy again in the girls doubles, teaming up with Russian Kristiana Sidorova. The pair knocked off Lacy and – funnily enough – Jamrichova, in a 6-2 6-4 win to move into the quarter finals. Joint is the last Australian left in the doubles competition, with the pair facing off against 15-year-olds, German Julia Stusek and Czech Julie Pastikova.

Joining Lacy in the third round of the girls’ singles was fellow Australian Emerson Jones, with the sixth seed overcoming Israeli talent Mika Buchnik. The Queenslander with the incredible forehand smashed 35 winners to 16, and while she also made 49 unforced errors, she was able to close out the game in three sets, 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Unfortunately Aussie wildcard Tahlia Kokkinis‘ run at Melbourne Park came to an end, bowing out to 16th seeded Bulgarian Iva Ivanova in straight sets, 6-4 6-1. She fought hard early, but was overwhelmed in the second set at Ivanova hit 10 winners for just five unforced errors en route to a 26 -winner performance.

It was a mixed day for the seeds as ninth seeded American Tyra Caterina Grant defeated Pastikova in a come-from-behind win, 3-6 6-2 6-3 in two hours and six minutes, while Pastikova’s Czech compatriot Alena Kovackova bowed out. The seventh seed went down to Swedish qualifier Lea Nilsson in a three-set contest, 6-4 1-6 6-4.

It was however a good day for the Americans, with Mia Slama and qualifier Aspen Schuman both joining Grant in the Round of 16. Slama overcame a fight against British qualifier Hephzibah Oluwadare, while Schuman withstood seven aces among 25 winners off the racquet of South Korea’s Gaeul Jang.

In the other junior girls singles match, Vendula Valdmannova became the only Czech to advance on the day, defeating Belarusian 15-year-old Yuliya Perapekhina.

In the junior boys singles, 13th seeded Aussie Pavle Marinkov won through to the Round of 16 with a 6-2 6-4 victory over German, Diego Dedura-Palomero yesterday. The news was not as good for Marinkov’s doubles partner and Aussie turned Frenchman, Charlie Camus. The ninth seed was smashed in just 48 minutes by Turkey’s Atakan Karahan.

Support could be on the way for Norwegian top 10 talent Casper Ruud with young compatriot Nicolai Budkov Kjaer booking his place in the Round of 16 with the second seed Scandinavian getting past Swedish qualifier, William Rejchtman Vinciguerra, 7-5 6-1.

Fourth seed Rei Sakamoto, fifth seed Kaylan Bigun and 11th seed Petr Brunclik were among the other winners on Tuesday, alongside American Cooper Woestendick and Bulgarian qualifier Anas Mazdrashki.

Jamrichova and Joint will open proceedings today at 1573 Arena, with the third round action, followed by Jones taking on Grant in the second match. Emerson’s brother Hayden Jones locks horns with record-breaking Pole Tomasz Berkieta – fresh off hid 233kmh serve on Monday – in what promises to be an entertaining contest.

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