Brisbane - Australian teenager Destanee Aiava created a
slice of history on Tuesday when she became the first player born in the 2000s to
win a main draw match on the WTA Tour.
The 16-year-old Aiava beat fellow qualifier Bethanie
Mattek-Sands of the US 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the Brisbane
International in a rain-delayed match.
After play was halted Monday night with Aiava leading 3-0
and 40-15 in the third set, the young Australian overcame nerves and a
Mattek-Sands fightback to move into a second round clash against veteran
Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Aiava will create further history at the Australian Open later
this month when she becomes the first player born in the 2000s to play in the
main draw of a Grand Slam tournament.
Born in Australia to rugby-loving Samoan parents who knew
nothing of tennis, Aiava began playing the sport at the age of five after
watching Serena Williams in the Australian Open.
"I think it was just her vibe," she said of
"Like, I couldn't feel it from the other side of the
TV, but it was just, like, her energy, and that kind of drew me to the
Aiava's powerful physique has drawn comparisons with Serena,
and the teenager admitted that she has based her game on the American
"Not so much a girl's game - more a guy's game,"
she said. "More variety."
Aiava said that nerves had got the better of her at the
start of the match, played on Showcourt One in front of full stands.
"I was pretty nervous playing in front of that many people.
I have never played in front of such a big crowd before," she said.
"I think the first set of the match I started off
"I think coming out, onto the court, I need to work on
not being so tight and feeling the pressure.
"But as the match progressed, I felt a little bit more
Results from the third day of the ATP/WTA TourBrisbane Internationaltennis tournament on Tuesday (X denotes seed):
Sam Groth (AUS) bt Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 6-3, 5-7, 7-5
Jared Donaldson (USA) bt Gilles Muller (LUX) 6-4, 6-4
Viktor Troicki (SRB) bt Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-4, 7-5
Lucas Pouille (FRA X6) bt Gilles Simon (FRA) 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/4)
Destanee Aiava (AUS) bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Karolina Pliskova (CZE X3) bt Asia Muhammad (USA) 6-1, 6-4
Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Christina McHale (USA) 6-2, 6-1