Bubka's son makes Grand Slam debut


MELBOURNE: He lost his first match and did not even try to jump the net but there was no escaping the spotlight for the skinny teenager with the famous father here yesterday. 

While most first round losers in the junior boys competition normally just stroll out of the Melbourne Park gates unnoticed, things were a little more hectic for 15-year-old Sergey Bubka. 

As the son of one of the world’s greatest ever athletes, the former Olympic and world champion pole vaulter who bears the same name, media interest in the 15-year-old’s first appearance at a grand slam event was guaranteed. 

There was not a single spectator at his match against Romanian Florin Mergea but it was still standing room only at court 13, where a small army of reporters, photographers and television crews had assembled. 

Bubka lost the match 6-2 7-6, which was no real surprise as Florin is two years older and already one of the best junior players in the world, but nobody was interested in the winner. 

While Mergea packed up his rackets and wandered back to the locker room, Bubka began the first of a round of interviews that would fill up the rest of his day. 

He completed a series of radio and television interviews in half a dozen languages then proceeded to the large press conference room, an expansive theatre where most senior players never get to. 

“I’m used to it, people have been coming up to me for years and saying ‘you’re the son of a famous father,’’ he said.  

“It’s a little strange but I’m used to it.  

“I just wish one day it will be about me.” – Reuters 

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