Brenda Fruhvirtova qualified at 15 for the first Grand Slam of her career, the 2023 Australian Open
Brenda Fruhvirtova played Grand Slam qualifying for the first time in Melbourne. A successful first for the 15 year old Czech who qualified for the main draw but the beginner’s luck had nothing to do with it.
Fruhvirtova won 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 against Jessica Bouzas Maneiro, 183rd in the world. A victory on the wire that shows the character and mental strength of Linda’s little sister who had already won when she was down 7-5, 5-1 in the previous round.
While the manner of the win is impressive, the 15-year-old’s achievement is no surprise considering she dominated the secondary circuit last season with 8 titles and is already ranked 135th in the world.
At 15 years and 9 months old, Brenda Fruhvirtova is the fifth youngest player in history to qualify for the women’s draw at the Australian Open.
In the first round of the main draw, she will be up against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, ranked 38th in the world and the highest ranked player she has ever played against.
BEJLEK AND SHANG, OTHER U18 QUALIFIERS
Sara Bejlek is only 16 years old but this is already the second time she has made it through the qualifying rounds of a Grand Slam after the US Open in 2022. This time, the 175th player in the world managed to do so with an impressive performance, defeating the number 29 seed Andreeva in the last round in two straight sets (6-2, 6-3). She was especially impressive in knocking off Alycia Parks, the number 1 seed and 76th player in the world, in the second round (5-7, 6-4, 6-2).
In the United States, she was defeated in the first round by Liudmila Samsonova and her task will not be any easier in Melbourne, where she will face her compatriot and 2021 French Open winner, Barbora Krejcikova.
Juncheng Shang qualified in the men’s draw at 17 years old. He is the highest ranked player under 18 in the world (194th) and the second highest ranked is Jakub Mensik (415th). He was also playing his first Grand Slam qualifier. Wins against Maroszan and Piros, players referenced in the secondary circuit, as well as against Fernando Verdasco allowed him to obtain his ticket for his first Grand Slam tournament.
He will play his first match against the 74th ranked German Oscar Otte.
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