Bolt rediscovers form and his love of tennis

BACK ON COURT: Australia’s Alex Bolt has found form at the Burnie International. Picture: Brodie Weeding. This time 12 months ago Alex Bolt wasn’t interested in playing tennis professionally.
Nanjing Night Net

The 24-year-old from Murray Bridgehas only recently returned to the court following a year away from the sport but has made an immediate impact.

Bolt has been one of the in-form players so far at the 2017 Caterpillar Burnie International and said it was a tough decision totake a break from tennis but it had paid off so far following his return.

“I think it was a mixture of the travel, I wasn’t enjoying it as much and I felt like I needed to get away from it just to refresh my mind,” Bolt said.

“I guess my fist three tournaments back I’ve done well and I also qualified for my first Grand Slam.

“I’m in the quarters here in Burnie as well so it’s been a great comeback andI probably couldn’t have asked for a better start.”

Bolt qualified for the opening round of the 2017 Australian Open where he went down to Japanese talent Yoshihito Nishioka in four sets.

While not progressing, it was his first taste of the main draw of a Grand Slam and he said he was pleased with how he performed on the big stage.

“That was the first time I’ve qualified for the main draw and I had never come up against [Nishioka] before.

“I’m not disappointed with the way I played at all, especially being my first Grand Slam experience.

“I can hopefully just draw from that experience next time.”

He has continued his impressive form in Burnie having reached the quarter-finals of the men’s draw with a dominant win on Wednesday.

He went up against Australian Dayne Kelly in the second round who was marked as a danger player following his win over the number one seed, Go Soeda on Tuesday.

But Bolt took the win in straight sets,6-3, 6-4 and said he was pleased with his form and confident of progressing even further in the tournament.

“Coming back with the form I’m in at the moment, I’m playing better than I was last year before I stopped playing.

“Dayne [Kelly] plays a really highlevel soI knew I had to take it to him and be the more aggressive player.

“We had some great points but I just think I played some better tennis when it mattered.”

Bolt also has a lot of experience competing in Burnie having made it all the way to the men’s final back in 2015 which he lost to Korean Hyeon Chung.

“Last time the tournament was here was back two years ago I played and I made the final so hopefully I can do one better this year.”

Bolt will take to the court once again on Thursday when he faces Japanese talent Akira Santillan.

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