Aiken High graduate Camden Riviere’s path to the top ranking in the world in court tennis isn’t complete, but it got a little easier than expected recently.
Riviere, ranked second in the world, advanced to the finals of the Australian Open singles draw with a 6/1, 6/1 victory over Frank Filippelli. Coming into the tournament, being played in Melbourne, Riviere was expected to have a potential showdown with current No. 1 Rob Fahey for the Australian Open title and the top ranking in the world.
Fahey, a native of Australia that now lives in Great Britain, elected not to participate, according to Camden’s father, Tiger Riviere.
“It’s a long way down to Australia,” Tiger said.
Instead, Camden will face Steve Virgona, the world’s third-ranked real tennis player, in a match that is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday local time, or 4 a.m. in Aiken. With a victory, Camden would secure the No. 1 ranking for the first time in his career, and while Virgona has not been playing on the same level as Fahey and Camden, Tiger said he’s a more than worthy opponent for the younger Riviere.
“Steve’s a very, very good player,” Tiger said of the player that paired with Fahey for the Australian doubles title last year and was the runner-up in singles.
Tiger wasn’t able to make the trip to watch Camden secure the milestone, but he said he would be keeping an eye on things. Thanks to cameras placed at the world’s major real tennis courts, he’ll be able to watch his son online.
“Even though it’ll be about 4 in the morning, I’ll be watching it,” Tiger said.
The match can be seen at www.justin.tv/mebournert.
Jeremy Timmerman has a journalism degree from Mercer University and has been at the Aiken Standard since June 2010.