Jamiee Fourlis is on the precipice of the biggest match of her career; check out how childhood coach Kane Dewhurst assesses her chances against No.8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in Melbourne.
WTA Staff

There's a fresh face on the scene at this year's Australian Open, as 17-year-old Jamiee Fourlis impressed home fans in a convincing first round win.

While Australia's headlines focused on friend and rival Destanee Aiava, the Melbourne-born Fourlis had an agenda of her own, knocking out former World No. 50 Anna Tatishvili of the United States in straight sets.

"I tried to stay in the moment, tried to keep everything on court. There was nothing to lose today," Fourlis told reporters post-match. "Winning your first match in a Grand Slam doesn't come every day. At the moment I'm still trying to take it all in. But it's an amazing feeling."

Fourlis lost the 18/U Australian Championships to Aiava just weeks ago, and was able to play qualifying for the year's opening Grand Slam thanks to a strong run at the annual Wildcard Playoff in late December.

After watching her compatriot Aiava bow out on Day 1, the 17-year-old kept a cool head to advance to the second round in her grand slam debut.

"She handled herself really well under the pressure of playing at home in her first Grand Slam," childhood coach Kane Dewhurst told wtatennis.com. "She has a lot of support behind her, so it was no surprise to see her play consistently well throughout."

Dewhurst first worked with the World No. 414 since the age of five, and was certainly impressed with what he saw in Melbourne on Monday.

"Jaimee has always been a clean ball striker. She has weapons on both sides, and it's now just a matter of understanding when to use them. She has great variety in her game as well, and that's why she has plenty of growth and development ahead of her."

Fourlis fought back from an early break down in the second against Tatishvili to close out the match, 6-4 6-3, where she will meet the experienced No.8 seed and two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Dewhurst, the owner of Vida Tennis, believes that while the obvious step up in class will be difficult, Fourlis has plenty of upside and could cause an upset.

"Kuznetsova will be a huge step up in class and a massive challenge, but if she can settle early, there is absolutely nothing to lose. The sky is the limit, so I'll tell her to just get out there and go after it.

"I don't think we should put any limits on anyone, and there is no reason she can't cause an upset."

She certainly has a tough assignment on her hands, but in the shadows of the MCG, home to her beloved football team, the Collingwood Magpies, Fourlis wants all the support she can get in the second round.

"Hopefully some Collingwood players can come and watch!"

Adriano Del Monte, wtatennis.com contributor.