Pune, India, 18 November 2019 | tennis.com.au

James Duckworth’s victory at the ATP Challenger in Pune, India has proven a two-pronged success story for the 27-year-old.

The victory sees him return to the top 100 for the first time since May 2017, after beginning the year at No.238.

And, as a result, he is now expected to directly qualify for the Australian Open in January.

Duckworth’s 4-6 6-4 6-4 win over Jay Clarke in the Pune final earned him a fourth Challenger title of the year, after also winning in Bangkok, Baotou and Playford.

He also reached Challenger finals in Yokkaichi and Las Vegas, and has now won 52 singles matches in 2019.

Starting with his run to the final in Vegas, Duckworth has won 16 of his past 19 matches.

He will rise from his current ranking of No.111 to 100, joining compatriots Alex de Minaur, Nick Kyrgios, John Millman, Jordan Thompson and Alexei Popyrin in the elite bracket.

In early June 2018, Duckworth was outside the top 1,000 and endured five surgeries in a 13-month period from January 2017 to January 2018.