Australian tennis coach Peter Luczak impressed with junior playing stocks

PLAYER TO COACH: Peter Luczak was one of Lleyton Hewitt's long-term hitting partners. Picture: Lucy Di Paolo
PLAYER TO COACH: Peter Luczak was one of Lleyton Hewitt's long-term hitting partners. Picture: Lucy Di Paolo

No-one has ever won the Launceston International twice, but coach Peter Luczak will have the chance to do just that on Sunday.  

A Davis Cup representative, two-time Australian Open third-rounder and former world no. 64, Luczak coached Sydney young gun Blake Mott to the 2016 Launceston title and has the chance to make it two from three when Melbourne-based Marc Polmans lines up in the men’s final.

Starting 2016 as the world no. 841, 20-year-old Polmans has risen as high as 175 under Luczak’s guidance and has the chance to claim his first career title on Sunday.

“Marc is almost a perfect guy to coach,” Luczak told The Examiner.

“He’s so serious and dedicated about his tennis, he’s really passionate and he just wants to be on the tennis court all day to train and practise.”

TITLE HUNTING: Launceston International finalist Marc Polmans.

TITLE HUNTING: Launceston International finalist Marc Polmans.

Among Luczak’s other proteges are 2014 US Open junior singles and doubles champion Omar Jasika and Sydney teenager Max Purcell, who narrowly lost to top seed Marcel Granollers in the opening round.

Jasika is yet to crack the top 200 despite making the second round of the Australian Open in 2016, but Luczak insists the 20-year-old is on the right track. 

“He’s still quite young and it’s tough making that transition from juniors to seniors.

“You have ups and downs, I believe there’s no real secrets anyway, you’ve just got to put in the hard work and the results will come eventually.

“All these guys are good players but it takes years - sometimes your best tennis doesn’t come along until you’re 26, 27, 28 years old - but hopefully they can just hang in there and focus on the bigger picture.”

ON THE RISE: Melbourne-based tennis player Omar Jasika. Picture: Neil Richardson

ON THE RISE: Melbourne-based tennis player Omar Jasika. Picture: Neil Richardson

And should players like Jasika reach their full potential, there’s a bright future on the cards for Australian tennis. 

“I think it’s going really (well) actually, you see a guy like Alex De Minaur come through, he’s playing really well, and we had Alexei Popyrin who won the French Open juniors so we have some good kids coming through.

“Maybe in a year or two we’ll hopefully have five, six, seven, or eight guys in the top 100.”