May 14, 2022 9:40 pm

Australian Open: after a year without male juniors in the Grand Slams, Argentina celebrated with Lautaro Midón

After a worrying 2021 in which Argentine tennis did not have men in the junior singles draws of the Grand Slams, the Australian Open once again had a representative from our country. Lautaro Midón, from Corrientes, 17, He debuted in the youth main draw of the Aussie tournament and won 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 against Croatian Luka Mikrut (42nd in the world).

Ranked 25th in the junior ranking and 16th seeded in Australia, Midón triumphed on Court 12 at Melbourne Park, scoring 5 aces, committing 3 double faults, making 59% first serves, winning 66% of points with the first serve and 49% with the second. In addition, he made 40 winning shots (24 from the rival) and 66 unforced errors (against 26 from the Balkan).

The Argentine junior tennis player Lautaro Midón at the Australian Open together with Rafael Nadal, one of his references. Instagram Lautaro Midon

Midón is the first Argentine junior to win a match at the Australian Open since Sebastián Báez in 2018 (In that season, the current 88th in the world, who this year made his debut in the Aussie main draw, had defeated Frenchman Hugo Gaston in the first round). Midón, who was able to take a photo in Melbourne with one of his idols, Rafael Nadal, and published it, will face Belgian Alessio Basile (70th) in the second round.

For various reasons (the pandemic, lack of local competition and economic limitations) Argentine players were not classified last season for the U18 men’s teams in the Grand Slams, something that had not happened for many years.

This year, in addition to Midón, in Australia he also competed Solana Sierra. Mar del Plata, 17 years old and 9th in the ranking, fell in the first round against the Slovakian Irina Balus (59th) 6-2, 6-4. She also fell in doubles partnering Laura Hietaranta (Finland).

Being among the best juniors in the world and coming from a developing country, both Midón and Sierra traveled to Australia as part of a team from the International Federation that supports the expenses. Otherwise, considering the high costs, it would have been very difficult for them to travel to Australia.

The Cordovan Gustavo Fernández, current number 3 in the adapted tennis world ranking, He made his debut in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open (Grand Slam that he won in 2017 and 2019) and lost to the British Alfie Hewett (2nd) 6-1 and 7-6 (7-2), in 1h19m.

In recent seasons, Hewett (24 years old) rose as one of the biggest obstacles on the circuit for Lobito Fernández (28 years old). In fact, with this Sunday’s victory, the European matched the record against the Argentine (14-14), but it also meant his sixth consecutive victory against Fernández, the eleventh in the last twelve clashes. Currently Hewett is the player who can fight for leadership against Japanese Shingo Kunieda (1st; 37 years old).

Gusti Fernández lost in the Australian Open quarterfinals to Britain's Alfie Hewett.
Gusti Fernández lost in the Australian Open quarterfinals to Britain’s Alfie Hewett.Tennis Australia

Against Hewett, the player born in Río Tercero committed three double faults, achieved 69% of first serves, just 31% of points won with the first serve and 32% with the second. He had 16 game-winning shots (33 from the Cantley native) and 19 unforced errors (same as Hewett).

Gusti Fernandez, former world number 1, will compete in the Australian doubles draw with Kunieda.

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