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Aussie weekly wrap: Rising Australians soar to new heights

Hayden Jones, Gabriella Da Silva Fick, Talia Gibson and Adam Walton all recorded career-best results this week.

Australia, 25 March 2024 | Leigh Rogers

From career-first titles to career-best results, many Australians soared to extraordinary new heights on the world stage this week.

Chris O’Connell and Adam Walton recorded their career-best results at ATP Masters 1000 level in America, while 19-year-old Talia Gibson progressed to the biggest singles final of her career at an ITF 75 tournament in Slovenia.

Hayden Jones, a 17-year-old from the Gold Coast, and Gabriella Da Silva Fick, a 23-year-old from Melbourne, collected maiden professional titles as the Australian Pro Tour stopped in regional Victoria.

Australian players also performed strongly at ITF junior and wheelchair tennis events across the Asia-Pacific region, while seven players won medals this week at the ITF Masters World Individual Championships in Turkey. This included the inspiring 100-year-old Henry Young.

> READ MORE: Australians win eight medals at the ITF Masters World Individual Championships

This week’s most outstanding performers include:

Chris O’Connell: The 29-year-old eliminated world No.22 Frances Tiafoe to advance to the third round in Miami. This is the first time that O’Connell has scored consecutive main-draw wins at ATP Masters 1000 level.

Adam Walton: The 24-year-old qualified at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the first time, beating two higher-ranked opponents to earn a main-draw spot in Miami.

> READ: Adam Walton – A rising star of Australian tennis

Storm Hunter: The 29-year-old scored two top-100 wins to reach the second round at the WTA 1000 tournament in Miami as a qualifier. This improves Hunter’s singles record this season to 14 wins from her 19 matches.

Thomas Fancutt: The 29-year-old won the doubles title at an ATP Challenger tournament in Merida (Mexico) alongside American Hunter Reese. This is Fancutt’s second consecutive ATP Challenger doubles title and improves his season record to 20 wins from 27 matches.

Talia Gibson: The 19-year-old defeated three seeded opponents to reach the singles final at an ITF 75 tournament in Maribor (Slovenia). This was the 11th and biggest pro singles final of Gibson’s career.

Gabriella Da Silva Fick: The 23-year-old was crowned the women’s singles champion at an ITF 35 tournament in Swan Hill (Australia). This is the first professional singles title for the in-form Da Silva Fick, who has now won eight of her past nine matches.

Emerson Jones: The 15-year-old was a singles finalist and doubles semifinalist (with fellow Australian Elena Micic) at the ITF 35 tournament in Swan Hill. This was Jones’ second, and biggest, singles final appearance on the pro tour.

Alana Parnaby: The 29-year-old was a doubles finalist (partnering New Zealand’s Monique Barry) and singles semifinalist at the ITF 35 tournament in Swan Hill. This was Parnaby’s second doubles final appearance this year.

Tina Smith: The 21-year-old advanced to the semifinals in singles and doubles (with Thailand’s Punnin Kovapitukted) at the ITF 35 tournament in Swan Hill.

Alex Bolt: The 31-year-old won the singles title at an ITF 25 tournament in Swan Hill. This is Bolt’s 11th career singles title and his second Australian Pro Tour title in as many weeks. This improves Bolt’s season record to 25 wins from his 31 matches.

> READ MORE: Bolt scoops back-to-back Australian Pro Tour singles titles

Hayden Jones: The 17-year-old teamed with New Zealand’s Ajeet Rai to win the doubles title at the ITF 25 tournament in Swan Hill. This is Jones’ first professional doubles title.

Jesse Delaney and Luke Saville: The Aussie duo were doubles finalists at the ITF 25 tournament in Swan Hill. It was the second doubles final appearance on the Australian Pro Tour this season for both 25-year-old Delaney and 30-year-old Saville.

Blake Ellis: The 25-year-old advanced to the singles semifinals at the ITF 25 tournament in Swan Hill. For the second time in as many weeks, Ellis’ run at an Australian Pro Tour event ended with a tight semifinal loss to eventual champion Alex Bolt.

Heath Davidson: The 36-year-old went unbeaten in singles during the World Team Cup Asian Qualification event in Pattaya City (Thailand), playing a key role in Australia’s second-place finish in the quad wheelchair competition alongside 22-year-old Finn Broadbent.

Anderson Parker and Ben Weekes: The 26-year-old Parker and 39-year-old Weekes teamed up to record a fifth place finish in the men’s wheelchair section at the World Team Cup Asian Qualification event in Thailand.

Emilie Chen, Vesna Marinkov and Jennifer Ott: Representing Australia at the 14-and-under ITF World Junior Tennis Girls Asia-Oceania Qualifying event in Malaysia, the trio recorded a third-place finish.

Ava Beck: The 15-year-old won the girls’ singles title at an ITF J100 tournament in Canberra. This is Beck’s second consecutive title and extends her winning streak to 10 matches. Beck also scooped the doubles title alongside 15-year-old compatriot Koharu Nishikawa.

Jerome Estephan and Boyd Schreiber: The Aussie pair won the boys’ doubles title at the ITF J100 tournament in Canberra. This is 16-year-old Estephan’s second ITF junior doubles title and 17-year-old Schreiber’s first. 

Renee Alame: The 14-year-old was a finalist in the girls’ singles and doubles (with 16-year-old sister Rianna) competitions at the ITF J100 tournament in Canberra.

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