By Andreas Vou
AFTER a valiant effort, young Cypriot tennis star Petros Chrysochos was unable to make it to the Junior Australian Open semi-finals, falling in straight sets to Frenchman Quentin Halys in Melbourne.
Despite the defeat in the last eight, the 17-year old from Larnaca has given rejuvenated hope for Cypriot tennis at a time where the fortunes of the iconic Marcos Baghdatis have begun to fade in recent years, with the youngster emerging as one of the world’s most promising players due to his consistently impressive showings on the international stage.
In 2012, a year after finishing second in the running for the same award, Chrysochos was named European junior player of the year – a prize won by current elites of the game like Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in years gone by.
This came in the same year in which he won his first Davis Cup tie for Cyprus, alongside Baghdatis and others in a best of five match-up against Benin while also finishing third in the Junior Masters.
Chrysochos is currently ranked 40 in his age group and resides in his hometown of Larnaca while maintaining a full school programme in conjunction with training at the Herodotou Academy.
When put into context, his feats become even more impressive when taking account of the fact that his peers train double the hours due to their attendance of full-time tennis academies.
One of his strongest points is his ability to read the game with acute accuracy while also demonstrating tactical knowledge far beyond his years.
He has a profound ability of judgment which allows him to change his game according to the needs of a particular match, while he also likes to try the occasional drop shot as Baghdatis in his prime so often used to pull off with mesmeric precision.
Such are Chrysochos’ standards that he held higher hopes for this year’s tournament, especially after defeating opponents with apparent ease in the previous rounds.
But despite missing out in the quarters, this is just the beginning of what promises to be a long and illustrious career for the teenager.