2020 French Open boys' singles champion Dominic Stricker used to watch Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka's matches at the Australian Open and now he has a chance to compete at Melbourne Park. Stricker, 19, watched Federer win six Australian Open titles, while he also remembers Wawrinka lifting his maiden Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park in 2014.
On Tuesday, Stricker beat Mohamed Safwat 3-6 6-2 6-1 in his Australian Open qualifying opener. "Of course, it was the years I grew up in tennis," Stricker told the Australian Open website. "These two were playing amazing here.
Stan won, I remember Roger won a few times. I think I watched a lot of matches of them when they played here and always had good memories of them. "The final of Stan I remember against Rafa (Nadal), and also a lot of matches of Roger's.
I came here as a junior and watched his match against (John) Millman and (Tennys) Sandgren, I think it was, when both matches were pretty close."
Stricker practiced with Federer
Former world No. 1 Federer invited Stricker to practice with him at the start of last season in Dubai.
Stricker gladly accepted the invitation and received some pretty good advice from Federer. "It was just great to hit two, three weeks with him. He's one of the greatest, if not the greatest, in this sport. You learn a lot," Stricker said.
"He told me to work a lot on my serve, which I did. Even today, maybe it was not my best service game of … the last few months but I think it helped me in important situations and I'm happy that he told me that.
"I practise sometimes with Stan (too), just a few days. Sometimes he invites me to go there. It's also amazing to hit with him. Both of them, it's great to have them in the same country."