Alex Tigani | The Lithuania Tribune Tennis star Ričardas Berankis has successfully qualified for next week’s 2014 Australian Open tournament thanks to a third consecutive straight-set victory, this time against Andrej Martin (6:3 6:1).
Alex Tigani | The Lithuania Tribune
Tennis star Ričardas Berankis has successfully qualified for next week’s 2014 Australian Open tournament thanks to a third consecutive straight-set victory, this time against Andrej Martin (6:3 6:1).
A local (and highly vocal) Lithuanian crowd would help launch the 23-year-old’s momentum early, only to then be matched by his Slovakian opponent’s trademark resilience; levelling the opening passage at 3:3.
Though the opening set remained as a tug-of-war battle between the two Europeans on the clock it would again be Berankis’ day as the Lithuanian Davis Cup star took-out nine of the remaining ten games for the remainder of the match.
Initially hesitant, the athletic Lithuanian also spent time to pose for photos and sign autographs; not only for his “Berankis Brigade” supporter group but also for the general Australian public.
This match brings his total games-winning percentage to a dominating 70 per cent this week following straight set victories over Italian Gianluca Naso (6:2 6:3) and Brazilian veteran Andre Ghem (6:4 6:3).
As a result, Berankis will now play off against Ukrainian star Alexandr Dolgopolov on Monday before a (hopefully) vocal Court 6 crowd (the same venue which saw him make his Men’s tournament debut in 2011).
If successful, Berankis will then face either Frenchman Jeremy Chardy or underdog Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung; depending on the result of their Court 22 clash.
Showcasing his notable ponytail and releasing his record breaking serves, the 25-year-old Ukrainian will enter match as the favourite not only due to his #55 world ranking but due to Australian Open experience which included a quarter-final appearance in what also happened to be Berankis’ debut year.
Locals interested in watching the Lithuanian will be able to purchase ground-pass tickets for $34 (or for $25 if purchased after 5pm) and are recommended to wear green, yellow and red.
Statistics: (Berankis : Martin)
Double faults 2:2
1st serves in 31/49 (63 %):23/47 (49 %)
1st serve points won 23/31 (74 %):10/23 (43 %)
2nd serve points won 9/18 (50 %):10/24 (42 %)
Break points won 5/7 (71 %):1/1 (100 %)
Receiving points won 27/47 (57 %):17/49 (35 %)
Unforced errors 2:2
Total points won 59:37