Australian world No. 265 Jason Kubler clinched his second victory over a top-50 player and then spoke highly of Lorenzo Sonego. Kubler, a former world No. 91, defeared world No. 34 Sonego 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the first round at the Murray River Open in Melbourne.
“It means a lot,” Kubler said on the importance of his win, per Tennis Australia. “He’s such a great player. I got sent some of the matches he’s played to scout him out a little bit and a lot of them were from deep in tournaments against top 10, top 20 players.
It’s good for my confidence, especially after injury, to know I’m heading in the right direction. I think I can improve a lot of things, but it’s a little pat on the back”.
Kubler felt the nerves early on
“As soon as I realised I don’t need to hit everything perfect and in the corners to stay in a point, then that calmed me down and I started making a lot more balls,” Kubler said.
Kubler plays next against Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis. “As long as I can go out there and try my best, we’ll see what happens,” Kubler said. “If I can get another win, I’m going to be ecstatic”.
Meanwhile, Australian Alex Bolt recovered from a set down to beat fellow compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis. “It’s always tough,” Bolt said of facing his close friend. Bolt, who entered the match as the underdog, easily lost the first set but then recovered as he beat Kokkinakis 2-6 6-4 6-3.
“First thing I did was message Thanasi and was like, ‘How’s the draw?'” Bolt said of his reaction. “No one really likes playing their mate. I would have much preferred to play someone else, but that’s the way it goes sometimes”. Bolt plays next against American Mackenzie McDonald.