MELBOURNE PARK – Tennis Australia will consider the future to be looking bright as three teenagers, Jaimee Fourlis (17), Destanee Aiava (16) and Omar Jasika (19) secured wildcards for the 2017 Australian Open.

Destanee Aiava is one of three teens to secure wildcards for the 2017 Australian Open

A first-round loss at the Australian Open would earn each of them around $38,500, which might be one of the largest chunk of prize money in their careers so far. But they’re all determined to go even further.

“I don’t really care [who I draw] (…) It’ll be an amazing feeling playing in front of a home crowd”, said Melbournian Jaimee Fourlis after winning the final of the Australian Open Women’s play-offs on Sunday (Dec 19). She defeated Abbie Myers  7-6 (8-6) 7-5. Fourlis has been training with former world number 1 and fellow Aussie Sam Stosur.

16-year-old Destanee Aiava (World No. 388 and Aus. No. 8), who defeated Fourlis in the under-18 Australian Championships final, has secured the second wild card. Aiava will be the first player born in the 2000s to play in a Grand Slam. She has stated her idol is Roger Federer and has set her sights on becoming number one some day.

Omar Jasika’s (No. 367) route to a wild card was a difficult one. He was almost ousted in the first round when he was two sets and a breakdown. Having reached the final of the men’s playoffs, he lost a first set tie break, during which he thrashed his racket for several seconds and was awarded a point penalty.

“I was trying to keep my cool as much as I can … [the racquet smash] released a lot of anger. When the new balls came out in the second set I started to find more rhythm … I started not missing a lot”, he stated.

Jasika then clinically defeated John-Patrick Smith 6-7 (2-7), 6-2, 6-0, 6-4 to earn himself the wildcard. He previously reached the second round of the Australian Open in 2016.

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