An extraordinary event took place on Friday, the fifth day of this season’s first Grand Slam Australian Open. Artur Cazoo, ranked 122nd in the world of France, beat No. 8 seed Holger Lune, ranked 3-1 (7-6 (4) 6-4 4-6 6-3) in just three hours and 22 minutes.
Cazoo, who participated in the tournament with a wild card, defeated veteran Laslo Zere (Serbia, 33rd) in the first round after a full-set battle, and also beat Lune in the second round, winning the top 10 for the first time since his professional debut, and enjoying the joy of reaching the round of 32 Grand Slam for the first time in his life.
The two players faced off three times in their junior years, and Cazoo, a one-year-old player, took the lead with two wins and one loss, but the positions of the two players changed completely in the pro league. Lune has been on a roll and ranked fourth in the individual rankings in the world, and won four tour championships. She also advanced to the quarterfinals at the French Open (22 and 23 years) and Wimbledon (23 years), establishing herself as a star player.
On the other hand, Cajou only won three times in challengers, one level lower than the tour tournament before the tournament, and failed to achieve any significant performance on the professional stage. Although Cajou ranked fourth in the world by ranking second in the 2020 Australian Open Junior as a junior, it did not seem easy in terms of his objective power to overcome Lune, who has grown into the top 10 beforehand. On top of that, Cajou’s Grand Slam experience was only the first round of the French Open (21, 23 years), the first round of the Wimbledon qualifying round, and the first round of the 、US Open (23 years), and this was the first time since his professional debut in the Australian Open.
As such, Lune’s victory seemed natural given the difference in world rankings and skills.
However, when I opened the lid, the game went unexpectedly. Cazoo blocked Lune’s attack with fast-footed court coverage, reminiscent of Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaras (Spain). In particular, Lune’s exquisite drop shot ran from 2 to 3 meters behind the baseline and scored with a passing shot just before the ball was two-bound, accurate strokes on the sideline and baseline, and Lune’s drive volley at match point with a fantastic backhand angle shot winner were the highlights of the victory.
Caju is 183 centimeters tall as a tennis player, but he teased Lune by serving cannonballs with a top serve speed of 219 kilometers per hour and an average first serve speed of 206 kilometers per hour. Caju recorded 18 serve aces in the game, 12 more than Lune did. Most of all, he displayed his tireless steel stamina, cool-headedness to maintain a poker face without changing his facial expression when earning or losing points, and calmness to not be nervous at all against top-rankers on the big stage of the Grand Slam.
On the contrary, Lune made frequent mistakes while trying to send the ball deep, perhaps because he was conscious of Caju’s wide court coverage, and actively played net to pressure Caju, but even this was helpless by Caju’s passing shot.
Lune was also seen in a fierce war of nerves with the French Open spectators. Some 20 French spectators seated on one side of the stand cheered enthusiastically for Caju to the extent that they felt excessive during the match. It was only a hard court, but the Margaret Court Arena, where the match was held, was in the mood of Roland Garros. When Lune scored as if the cheering of the French spectators bothered her, she often gave a fist ceremony to the French spectators, stimulating the French spectators, who were excited about this, even sticking out her middle finger at Lune.
Lune raised expectations for this season by forming a powerful team including Boris Becker, a former star player, in October last year, and even Severin Lucy, a Swiss who spent a long time with Roger Federer, a Swiss tennis czar, last month, but Cazoo unexpectedly hit him. Lune will also be able to achieve his 100th career victory in the tour.
This year, 21-year-old Cazoo, who beat Lune to mark the best milestone in his tennis career, is drawing attention as the next-generation runner to lead French men’s tennis along with Arthur Pease (34th, 19th) and Luca van Ashe (79th, 19th). Ahead of the Australian Open, the possibility is recognized to the extent that it was mentioned first in the “5 Challengers to watch in Melbourne” selected by the World Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
Cazoo, who is evaluated as having all the essential elements of tennis such as physical strength, agility, ability to identify opponents, stability of strokes, defensive ability, and consistency, was a promising handball player who played for a famous French handball team when he was young. However, after watching Nadal play at Roland Garros, he fell in love with tennis and turned to tennis at age 11. Cazoo, who was considered a promising handball player by winning the 2020 Australian Open Junior Championship, has now become a player who is drawing attention from tennis around the world. 스포츠중계
“First of all, I apologize to the Danish tennis fans. I love Denmark very much. It was my fault (for beating Lune),” said Kazu, who made the press conference full of laughter. “I trained really hard during the pre-season. I also trained with Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Andy Murray of the United Kingdom. I got to know these players, but I never had a chance to prove my performance. But I am very happy because I proved myself to everyone by beating Lune today.”
Cazoo will have a showdown with Thalon Griekspur (31st place) in the round of 32 strongest teams, who beat his best friend Arthur Pease of France. It is the first time that the two players will have a showdown. Like Ben Shelton of the U.S., who rose to stardom by making a surprise quarterfinal appearance at the Australian Open last year, attention is focusing on whether Cazoo will be able to become a Cinderella man based on this event.