Australian Omar Jessica recovers after two-year suspension leaving former US Open Juniors Champion COVID-19 in limbo

In 2014, Jesica’s age put the tennis world on high alert when the young Australian won the US Open singles and doubles titles just days away.

Jessica said, “This has been the craziest week of my life. It’s been craziest” sports news.

“This was the last junior tournament I was ever going to participate in, so it was nice to come out strong.”

The talented youngster joined the ATP World Tour a few months later and seemed poised for a bright future in the sport.

But at the end of 2017, his tennis dreams collapsed after he tested positive for cocaine while trying to secure a wildcard at the Australian Open.

Then, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) handed Jesica, who was 20 years old at the time, a complex two-year ban.

Despite the setback, the time he spent on the sidelines only shows how much he wants to succeed on court.

When asked about his ban, Jessica said: “I made a little mistake when I was younger. I definitely learned from that. We all make mistakes as kids.”

“It was very difficult not to play for long after I played for almost 17 years of my life. It made me realize how much I really missed and wanted to be a tennis player again to be honest.

“I think it made me grow as a person at the same time, so that was a good thing that came of it.

“I didn’t get much support, at all. I just had to do it myself in those tough times that made me so much stronger.”

The curve that represented the COVID-19 pandemic also means that by the time Jasika returned to court earlier this year, it had been more than four years since he competed on a regular basis.

But after going on for so long, he hit the ground running in 2022 and claimed his second ITF title in Thailand on April 24.

Jasika did not drop a group in his five matches in Chiang Rai and this success came just one month after winning the Futures event in Bendigo.

“I feel like I’ve been in a state for the past few months,” he said. “I played a lot of games that played a role.”

“I just deal with the flow. I didn’t think about it much (winning titles). I just practice day in and day out and the results will come.”

The 24-year-old’s impressive form has seen his rankings rise to nearly 1,000 places in the span of a few months.

In February, he entered the ATP rankings at 1433 but as of late April it is now at 571.

This numerical rise is significant in more ways than one with more events now on Jasika’s radar in the coming months.

“Good so far,” he said. “It’s given me a lot of chances this year in terms of the Challenger schedule.”

“I kind of wanted to get out of Futures as quickly as I could so I think the next few weeks I’ll see how my ranking goes and we can plan better.

“I’m going to England next week for two more tournaments, then Greece for two weeks and then see my standings after that.

“Play some challengers hoping – that’s the plan.”

Given his victory at the 2014 US Open, where the likes of current superstars Matteo Berrettini and Andrey Rublev competed, Jessica believes he still has what it takes to join them at the top of the tennis pyramid.

“I think so,” he said. “I managed to roll the ball.”

“I just need to stay focused, stay on track and know where I can get.”

After a mistake early in his career, Jessica is clearly determined to make the most of his second chance on the tennis court.