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Hijikata rewrites historical past with ATP Finals look | 15 November, 2023 | All Information | Information and Options | Information and Occasions


Australian Rinky Hijikata is the youngest doubles participant to qualify for the elite ATP Finals in 28 years.

Turin, Italy, 15 November 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Rinky Hijikata is proving he’s a star on the rise together with his debut on the ATP Finals in Italy this week.

The 22-year-old Australian is the youngest doubles participant to qualify for the season-ending championships since American Tommy Ho in 1995.

This age-defying achievement is a shock even for Hijikata, who admits he didn’t anticipate to earn a spot on the prestigious ATP Finals in solely his second full season on the professional tour.

“Positively not, particularly not for doubles,” he stated.

It gives one other spotlight in a breakout season for Hijikata, who at the moment sits at a career-high doubles rating of world No.23.

He sensationally received the Australian Open doubles title as a wildcard alongside compatriot Jason Kubler in January.

Hijikata was ranked No.277 on the time, had solely beforehand recorded a single win at tour-level and was making simply his second look in a Grand Slam doubles draw.

This phenomenal breakthrough helped Hijikata, a former top-10 junior who performed US faculty tennis on the College of North Carolina between 2020-21, skyrocket up the ATP Tour doubles rankings.

The Sydney-born expertise has demonstrated that his Australian Open run was no fluke both, making an additional two ATP finals in the course of the 2023 season.

Hijikata superior to the Delray Seashore ultimate alongside American Reese Stalder in February and received an ATP 500 event at Tokyo with Aussie Max Purcell final month.

He additionally teamed with Brit Cameron Norrie to achieve his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal in Shanghai throughout October.

This success has carried over to the singles courtroom too, with Hijikata tallying a number of milestones this yr. This contains peaking at world No.70 and advancing to the US Open fourth spherical.

Reunited on the doubles courtroom with 30-year-old Kubler this week, the unassuming Aussie duo are excited to problem the world’s greatest groups in Turin.

“There’s a very good vibe across the event and (we’re) honoured to be a part of it,” Hijikata stated.

Their spirits stay excessive, regardless of towards reigning Wimbledon champions, Brit Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands.

“It’s a fairly sick ambiance right here, (with) lots of people popping out for the doubles,” Hijikata stated after contesting his first ATP Finals match.

“It’s positively fairly cool to be right here. It’s been a rollercoaster of a yr, so simply hoping we are able to end effectively and revel in this week.”

Hijikata and Kubler face Australian Matt Ebden and Indian Rohan Bopanna of their subsequent round-robin encounter, scheduled for later at the moment (from 10pm AEDT).

That is the primary assembly between Aussie gamers in an ATP Finals doubles match since 1998.

Discover your strategy to play: Go to play.tennis.com.au to get out on courtroom and have some enjoyable!

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