The Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of the year did not start off very well for Jewish tennis player Scott Lipsky.
Born and raised in nearby Merrick, N.Y., the doubles specialist was seeded 16th in the men’s doubles draw with partner Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico. Favored to win his match, Lipsky fell in two tough sets to an Austrian-Romanian duo. After flying to the opposite side of the world, losing a first round match was not the best result.
Luckily for the 32 year old, Lipsky still had one event left, making the most of it to highlight the performance of Jewish players in Australia. Playing the mixed doubles tournament, where a team consists of one man and one woman, Lipsky partnered with Jie Zheng of China.
Starting his run on the second Monday of the tournament, the Long Island native had a far easier first round match, as he dispatched a Swedish-Polish partnership in a straightforward match. A second round mixed doubles encounter would never make news on a normal day, but Lipsky and his partner announced themselves to the tennis world loud and clear with their performance.
Playing Alexander Peya and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, the top seeds for the tournament, with Peya finishing last season as part of the second-ranked men’s doubles team in the world, a tough match was on the bill. Splitting the first two sets after a courageous fight in a second set tiebreaker, Lipsky and Zheng went on to take down the top team by the score of 10 to 5 in the final set tiebreaker.
The quarterfinals would not get any easier for the right-hander, coming up against Peya’s men’s doubles partner Bruno Soares, part of the fifth seeded mixed doubles team. In an even tighter duel, Lipsky managed to pull through after dropping the first set, capturing the third set tiebreaker 10 points to 7.
After a phenomenal run, the 2011 French Open Mixed Doubles champion Lipsky had his tournament come to a close against the eventual winners of the tournament in the semifinals.
Although the stars of Jewish tennis didn’t have their best tournament, a local doubles player proved to be quite the competitor, earning a share of $33,900 for his efforts.Andrew Eichenholz
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