FAMOUS MONIKER: Matthew Dellavedova of Australia competes in his first-round match against len Schouten of the Netherlands during the Australian Open boys' singles.
FAMOUS MONIKER: Matthew Dellavedova of Australia competes in his first-round match against len Schouten of the Netherlands during the Australian Open boys' singles. Jack Thomas

Meet Australia's 'other' Delly

MEET Matthew Dellavedova. No, the "other one".

The 16-year-old tennis young gun won his way through to the second round of the Australian Open boys' singles yesterday, defeating Dutch youngster Ien Schouten 6-3 3-6 6-2.

But unsurprisingly many of the questions after his victory were about his more famous relative - the NBA champion and current Milwaukee Buck.

"He's a second cousin, that's all I know," Dellavedova revealed.

"I've never actually met him before. I would have but he's too busy in America most of the year. Maybe if I go to Maryborough and he's there at the same time I'll be able to meet him.

"Half the people don't believe me when I say I'm related to him, that's the most often conversation starter I have with random people."

Dellavedova's dad Peter is his coach and an ex-tennis professional. He's also cousins with the basketballer's dad.

But while Dellavedova has never actually met his second cousin - and has only played "maybe half an hour" of basketball in his entire life - the success has pushed him to want to be an elite athlete.

"It's a bit annoying when I type in my name and it pops up with him. So it's a bit instinctive for me to get better and hopefully one day my face will be on there," he said.

"I don't actually follow basketball but I've had more interest in it simply because he's playing. I watched a bit of his college game and then he won ... what was that? He had a big victory.

"It's good for him and it's pretty cool that we're related."

While his second cousin draws in the interest few 16-year-olds at the Australian Open receive, Dellavedova is worth hype in his own right. He stands at six foot three - the NBA Matthew is six foot four - and is proud of his one-handed backhand, which helped him win through to the second round of the boys' singles.

"I'll play this (Australian Open) and then head overseas to hopefully play a bunch of Futures and Challengers (tournaments)," he said.

"I got my first ATP point recently so hopefully I can gain on that."

Despite his height and family pedigree, Dellavedova says he is definitely more interested in tennis than basketball. But he certainly shares personality traits - and a nickname - that we expect to see from his family name.

"I like the fight, the competition. Going out there, it's just two guys - a bit like boxing - where you're one-on-one and completely by yourself.

"It's the fight and the competitive side of it, I've always been very competitive."

And next time his cousin is back home, Dellavedova says he's ready to switch codes temporarily.

"I'd definitely like to have a game with him," he said.

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News Corp Australia


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