Sebastian Ofner was just happy to be making his Grand Slam qualifying debut last week at Wimbledon, but the #NextGenATP Austrian’s maiden pro tournament on the grass has turned into a breakthrough run.
Ofner survived a pair of marathon matches just to make it into the main draw, prevailing 10-8 in the third set against Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium in the first round, and rallying from two sets down to defeat #NextGenATP Brit Jay Clarke in the final round of qualifying. Buoyed at competing on the lawns of Wimbledon, Ofner dropped a mere seven games in his first-round main draw win on Tuesday over Thomaz Bellucci.
But it was his performance on Thursday against 17th seed Jack Sock that truly stood out. Hitting 15 aces and winning 80 per cent of his first-serve points, Ofner survived a mid-match surge from the American to prevail 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-2 in two hours and 44 minutes.
Currently coached by Wolfgang Thiem, the father of Dominic Thiem, the Austrian has done things his way when it comes to tennis. He eschewed life at an academy to complete his studies at a local private school called Liese Prokop. Ofner began his pro career in earnest two years ago, winning four Futures titles and finishing runner-up at four other Futures events in 2016. He progressed to the ATP Challenger Tour this season and reached his first Challenger final this May in Mestre, Italy.
Currently No. 217 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Ofner is projected to move just outside the Top 150 after Wimbledon. His bank account will increase significantly as well. Ofner has amassed just over $46,000 in his career, but is guaranteed to take home more than $116,000 for reaching the third round at Wimbledon. He will also make a major jump in the Emirates ATP Race to Milan, which determines seven of the eight players who will qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held from 7-11 Nov. in Milan.The eighth player will be determined by wild card.
Ofner will look to continue his dream run on Saturday when he plays another #NextGenATP player in 10th seed Alexander Zverev.