After dark years Botic van de Zandschulp realized that Dutch men’s tennis was in a slightly improved state. Following in the footsteps of Talon Cronbur, the world number 57 reached the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday, the first time since 2003 that two Dutch men have been in the second round in Melbourne.
“We’m used to a little bit different times from the past, but I think we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve done well for a country like the Netherlands,” Van de Sandsulf said after his decisive victory over German John-Leonard. Struff (6 -4, 6-3 and 6-2).
On Monday, Fabio Fognini followed in the footsteps of 26-year-old Van de Sandsulf and one-year-old Gregpur, who were already strong in the second round after being knocked out in the second round nineteen years ago.
“And someone like Jasper de Jong came to the third round of qualifications this year,” continued Van de Sandsulf, who sees good progress in women. “Ariane Hortono came into the main competition. And Arantza Russ has been in the top sixties for many years now.”
‘High winds blow’
This is the first time Van de Sandsulf has reached the second round of the Australian Open. The 57th seed in the world continued his good start to the season, removing Struff from 52nd in the world.
“I started a little stiff, the first set was hard in the third. I had some trouble getting into it, but it was because he was playing so ‘completely’ and trying to reduce the points. But after I played the first set, after a hard service game I got it very smooth. I passed easily. He helped me a little from time to time, “said Van de Sandsulf, who saw some drop-offs from his opponent.
“The wind was higher and a little colder than in recent days, so you were a little different here than usual. But it would vary for an hour.”
‘More silence in my game’
It was his first Grand Slam match for Van de Sandsulf, and he then advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Open, causing a stir. In New York, he was with Michael Shoppers, who works at KNLTB. Shortly afterwards, Van de Sandsulf appointed Peter Lucason as his personal trainer.
“I think my game has relaxed a bit. I started to serve better too, so I got more ‘free’ points. That was the important point for me. I like that collaboration.”
In the next round, Van de Chandsulf meets Richard Casquet, the Frenchman who defeated Ugo Humbert in four sets when Van de Sandsulf looks back. “My coach is sitting on the stand there now. We’ve both seen him play before, but it’s nice to see some information on how they are playing here. They’re both good players, so I look forward to it.”
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