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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 along 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 count on 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 mentioned.

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

He sensationally gained 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 through the 2023 season.

Hijikata superior to the Delray Seashore ultimate alongside American Reese Stalder in February and gained 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 court docket too, with Hijikata tallying a number of milestones this 12 months. This consists of peaking at world No.70 and advancing to the US Open fourth spherical.

Reunited on the doubles court docket 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 mentioned.

Their spirits stay excessive, regardless of dropping their opening round-robin match towards reigning Wimbledon champions, Brit Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands.

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

“It’s undoubtedly fairly cool to be right here. It’s been a rollercoaster of a 12 months, so simply hoping we will end nicely and luxuriate in this week.”

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

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

Discover your method to play: Go to play.tennis.com.au to get out on court docket and have some enjoyable!



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