🇩🇪 Germany 👶 18 ⬆️ 5’10” 🤚Right-handed
Marvin Moeller from Hamburg is world number 10 in the ITF junior rankings and seeded 3 at the 2017 Australian Open Juniors. This is the first time he has played the tournament.
His opponent for the first round was Australian Lucas Vuradin.
Moeller managed to hold his first two serves. At 2-2 in the first set, when Moeller was serving, Vuradin suddenly made a statement as he upped the power on his groundstrokes and started grunting loudly as he hit them.
He is shorter and an even slighter build than Moeller, but his power was remarkable. He broke Moeller in that game and Moeller could never get the break back.
In the second set, Vuradin continued blasting the ball at Moeller. Many of his serves were unreturnable and his groundstrokes were even better. He sent Moeller running back and forth across the baseline. Vuradin also played very well at the net, with several excellent volleys.
Moeller keep fighting. He put an ice bag on the back of his neck at the changes of end. At 0-5 in the 2nd set, he looked worn out as he got up to serve, but somehow managed to hold. But next game, Vuradin blasted him again to win 3-6 1-6.
We spoke with Moeller after the match.
VT – Before we talk tennis, it was your 18th birthday on Wednesday. Congratulations.
MM – Thank you.
VT – Did you do anything special on the day?
MM – Not really. I had a match in Traralgon, in the semi-final. So it was more like just a normal day.
VT – Was playing those matches in Traralgon good preparation for the Open?
MM – It was a nice tournament. Nice courts and everything. I think the conditions were OK. It was sometimes very windy. I think it was quite good preparation. I played very good. I thought I could go far here, but it didn’t happen.
VT – Obviously today’s match didn’t go as you would have hoped. A tough match.
MM – Yes.
VT – Had you played him before?
MM – No, I never played him. I’ve never seen him before.
VT – He was very powerful. I was surprised.
MM – I was surprised too. But I didn’t know him. He played very powerful and very fast from the baseline. A little bit too fast for me today.
VT – You played an Australian in front of his home crowd today. Did that make it harder?
MM – No, not really.
VT – Because you had supporters in the crowd too?
MM – Yes, I had supporters too. And the crowd is mostly for him but that is normal in Australia.
VT – Was it distracting with all the noise outside the court; people were talking loudly or singing? Did that put you off at all?
MM – No, I think not. The US Open is quite loud too. I don’t really hear it on the court so it didn’t disturb me.
VT – This is your first time at the Australian Open. You were in the quarter finals of the French Open in 2016, how does it compare with playing at the Australian Open?
MM – I think it’s very different. At the French Open I came through the qualies and made the quarter final. I played very good and it was such a great experience. My first grand slam tournament.
And here, it’s tough to say directly after that match, but I’m disappointed. But I think it’s a good tournament. All grand slams are very special.
VT – And do you have a preferred surface?
MM – I think I prefer the clay. The hardcourt here is pretty fast. I think a little bit slower is better for me.
VT – I think you have a good game for clay.
MM – Yes, I think so too.
VT – You are the No. 2 Seed in the doubles here alongside Japanese player Naoki Tajima. Have you teamed up before?
MM – Just played Traralgon the first time. We just played one match. We lost in the first round, but I think if we play well, we can go far.
VT – Who is your role model in tennis?
MM – Andy Murray.
VT – What is it about his game that you admire?
MM – When I was younger I really liked Nadal. I also liked Federer and Djokovic; such great players. Andy Murray; I think I play pretty similar to him and I like his attitude on the court.
🎾 🎾 🎾 🎾 🎾
Moeller and Naoki Tajima lost their first round doubles match to Taiwanese team Tseng Chun-hsin and Bang Shuo Yin 3-6 5-7.
Title photo by Vanessa Taylor