Rising Australian junior Bradley Mousley says he will draw inspiration from two of his close peers as he faces a tough-looking boys’ singles semifinal at AO2014 on Friday.
Aussie duo Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, who made an impression in the main draw at AO2014, are close friends with Mousley, and he says he is encouraged and inspired by the performance of a pair he has trained and played against his entire life.
“It’s good seeing them do really well, I’m really happy for them, and they try and get me through too,” said Mousley about the recent efforts of the Australian pair.
Not only does the advice from Kyrgios and Kokkinakis help Mousley, so does knowing he can compete with the two on court.
“I know I can match it with them, I train with them all the time,” said Mousley.
That confidence has been evident in Mousley’s game at AO2014 this week, with the South Australian advancing to the semifinals in the singles, and reaching a second consecutive doubles final.
He hopes this confidence will help as he faces a stern test in the form of top seed Alexander Zverev in the semifinal on Friday.
Mousley says last year’s doubles final is another factor behind his run at this year’s Australian Open juniors.
“It’s given me the confidence to play well into the deeper stages of the tournament and try not get as nervous when I’m playing,” said Mousley of the experience.
On Thursday, 18-year-old Mousley surged into the semifinals with a straight-sets victory over Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak, 6-3 6-4 on Show Court 3.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Mousley, but he lifted when needed to advance to the final four.
“I tried to stick to my game when I was down in the second set, and he slipped up in the end,” said Mousley.
Majchrzak was the second seeded player Mousley has knocked out of the event, after eliminating Japan’s Naoki Nakagawa in the second round.
A positive result for Mousley could help keep Australia’s recent hold on the Australian Open junior boys’ single title.
Fellow South Australian Luke Saville won the title in 2012, before Nick Kyrgios claimed it last year.
Despite losing both previous matches against the current junior world number one, Mousley is confident his game is up to the level required.
“I will be focusing more on myself than him really, and get to his serve and hopefully it breaks down,” said Mousley.
However, Mousley hasn’t turned a blind eye to the temperament of his German opponent.
“I would like to see him go completely crazy, to be completely honest,” quipped Mousley.
Mousley might already be under the skin of his rival, after he and doubles partner Lucas Miedler eliminated Zverev and Andrey Rublev earlier this week.
After winning the doubles title with Jay Andrijic, Mousley will be aiming for consecutive titles in Saturday’s final against third-seeded French pairing Quentin Halys and Johan Sebastien Tatlot.
Completing the double is on the back of Mousley’s mind.
“It would be very nice to do a single and doubles, not sure it’s all going to happen, but I’ll do my best to,” said Mousley.