Melbourne, Australia, 6 February 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Thirteen Australian men will contest this year’s Australian Open men’s singles event – the highest number of local contenders since 2000. All are aiming to become the first Aussie champion since Mark Edmondson defeated John Newcombe in an all-Australian final in 1976.

Presenting our Aussie hopes …

Alex de Minaur, 21, New South Wales
After missing last year’s Australian Open with an abdominal injury, the dynamic De Minaur can’t wait to compete in his home Grand Slam. Making his fourth main draw appearance, the world No.23 is seeded at the tournament for a second time. De Minaur’s previous best result is a third-round run in 2019. A quarterfinalist at the US Open in 2020, De Minaur is proving he can challenge for major titles. He made a perfect start to the 2021 season too, winning his fourth career ATP title in Antalya. He has a tricky opening assignment against a two-time Australian Open quarterfinalist, who boasts a 4-1 win-loss record against seeded opponents at the tournament.
First-round opponent: World No.50 Tennys Sandgren (United States)
Head-to-head record: First career meeting

John Millman, 31, Queensland
The hard-working Millman is an Aussie favourite – and ‘Millmania’ hit new heights when he pushed Roger Federer to five sets at Rod Laver Arena last year. His stirring third-round run matched his career-best result at Melbourne Park, having also reached that stage in 2016. The world No.38, who claimed his first ATP singles title late last year, returns for his seventh AO main draw appearance. The consistent competitor has won at least one round in his past four visits. His first-round opponent is an in-form 21-year-old who progressed to the Murray River Open semifinals at this week’s Melbourne Summer Series.
First-round opponent: World No.80 Corentin Moutet (France)
Head-to-head record: First career meeting

> READ: 10 Aussie women ready for AO 2021

Nick Kyrgios, 25, Australian Capital Territory
A fan favourite at Melbourne Park since winning the Australian Open 2013 boys’ singles title, this is the world No.47’s eighth main draw appearance. Kyrgios owns a 14-7 win-loss record at the tournament, with his best result a quarterfinal run in 2015. Last year he tested top seed Rafael Nadal in a thrilling fourth-round showdown. Kyrgios has only once lost in the first round at the tournament, in 2019 to eventual quarterfinalist Milos Raonic. He faces a 25-year-old left-handed qualifier making his Grand Slam main draw debut in this year’s opening round.
First-round opponent: World No.184 Frederico Ferreira Silva (Portugal)
Head-to-head record: First career meeting

> READ: Australian Open 2021 draws set 

Jordan Thompson, 26, New South Wales
Making his eighth consecutive Australian Open main draw appearance, the world No.52 is looking to better second round appearances in 2017, 2019 and 2020. The diligent Thompson, who lost to world No.12 Fabio Fognini in a five-set battle at Melbourne Park last year, enjoyed a career-best run at last year’s US Open. His confidence-boosting fourth-round effort helped him record his highest year-end finish. Could his steady improvement deliver major rewards this summer? He enters a first-round showdown with the No.24 seed determined to improve a 1-11 career record against seeded opponents in Grand Slams.
First-round opponent: World No.27 Casper Ruud (Norway)
Head-to-head record: Tied at one-all
Last meeting: Ruud won 6-1 6-4 2-6 4-6 6-3 (Roland Garros, 2018)

James Duckworth, 29, New South Wales
The world No.105 is making his ninth Australian Open main draw appearance. He made the second round on debut in 2012, and also matched that effort in 2013 and 2015. Although Duckworth is yet to progress to the third round in the 22 Grand Slams he was played so far in his career, he proved patience can pay off with his 2020 achievements. He set a career-high ranking of No.71, reached a first ATP semifinal and made his Davis Cup debut for Australia. Duckworth’s first-round opponent is a lucky loser who has been ranked as high as world No.23.
First-round opponent: World No.120 Damir Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Head-to-head record: Duckworth leads 1-0
Last meeting: Duckworth won 6-3 3-6 6-3 (Miami, 2015)

> READ: Injury free Duckworth ready for Australian Open

Alexei Popyrin, 21, New South Wales
The No.114-ranked wildcard demonstrated why he is considered one of the brightest prospects in Australian tennis, advancing to the third round in his past two AO appearances. The Roland Garros 2017 boys’ singles champion, who has a career-high ranking of No.87, is contesting his fourth Australian Open. Popyrin, who stands at a towering 196-centimetres, pushed world No.19 Grigor Dimitrov to three sets at the Melbourne Summer Series this week – a promising sign ahead of another top-20 match-up in the Australian Open first round.
First-round opponent: World No.14 David Goffin (Belgium)
Head-to-head record: First career meeting

Christopher O’Connell, 26, New South Wales
Rising to a career-high of No.111 and scoring a first Grand Slam win at the US Open were 2020 highlights for O’Connell. Rewarded with an AO 2021 wildcard for these efforts, this marks O’Connell’s third main draw appearance. The draw has not been kind previously, pitted against top 20 seeds on both occasions. Still the world No.120 showed his fighting spirit at Melbourne Park last year, pushing world No.16 Andrey Rublev to four sets in the opening round. His opening opponent this year has showed impressive form at this week’s ATP Cup and is one of the highest-ranked non-seeded players in the draw.
First-round opponent: World No.37 Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)
Head-to-head record: First career meeting

> READ: O’Connell hoping for change in fortunes

Marc Polmans, 23, Victoria
A thrilling five-set win in the AO 2020 opening round was a major breakthrough for Polmans. The world No.125 followed this first Grand Slam match win with a first top-50 victory at Roland Garros later in the season. These performances helped the hard-working Polmans’ ranking peak at No.116 in October. The Melbourne-based Polmans, who is targeting a top-100 debut in 2021, grew up playing at Melbourne Park. This is his third AO main draw appearance. He faces an opponent who has advanced to the Australian Open fourth round twice in the past three years.
First-round opponent: World No.55 Marton Fucsovics (Hungary)
Head-to-head record: First career meeting

Alex Bolt, 28, South Australia
The big-serving Bolt produces his best tennis at Melbourne Park. He defeated two former top-10 players to reach the third round in 2019 and last year pushed eventual finalist Dominic Thiem to five sets in the second round. The No.174-ranked wildcard from country South Australia returns for his fifth consecutive main draw appearance, buoyed by a strong performance at this week’s Melbourne Summer Series. The left-handed Bolt loves a battle – four of the seven main draw matches he’s played at the Australian Open have extended to five sets.
First-round opponent: World No.89 Norbert Gombos (Slovak Republic)
Head-to-head record: Bolt leads 2-0
Last meeting: Bolt won 6-4 7-6(5) (Ilkley, 2017)

> READ: Bolt chasing new Australian Open highs

Aleksandar Vukic, 24, New South Wales
A quiet achiever who is making impressive progress, this is Vukic’s first Australian Open main draw appearance. The US college graduate progressed to the final round of qualifying at Melbourne Park in 2020. He then went one better at Roland Garros last year, defeating three higher-ranked opponents to qualify and earn his Grand Slam debut. The world No.195 is determined to build on this form in 2021. The draw has delivered another new experience too – his first career meeting against a top 20-ranked opponent.
First-round opponent: World No.20 Karen Khachanov (Russia)
Head-to-head record: First career meeting 

Bernard Tomic, 28, Queensland
The youngest ever winner of an Australian Open boys’ singles title (claiming the 2008 title as a 15-year-old), Tomic has impressive history at Melbourne Park. This includes fourth-round runs in 2012, 2015 and 2016. Currently ranked No.229, Tomic earned his place in this year’s draw by winning three qualifying matches in Doha last month. This is Tomic’s 11th Australian Open and he boasts a 17-10 win-loss record in main draw matches. Tomic’s only previous meeting with his first-round opponent was as a 15-year-old, in his first professional final at an ITF Futures event.
First-round opponent: World No.104 Yuichi Sugita (Japan)
Head-to-head record: Sugita leads 1-0
Last meeting: Sugita won 6-3 6-7(6) 6-3 (Indonesia, 2008)

Thanasi Kokkinakis, 24, South Australia
It has been a long and testing road to making a fifth Australian Open main draw appearance for the South Australian. His best results at Melbourne Park are second-round runs in 2014 and 2015, when he memorably upset world No.13 Ernests Gulbis in a five-set thriller. After a horror run with injuries, Kokkinakis missed last year’s tournament with glandular fever. Now fit and healthy, the world No.266 wildcard is ready to prove he belongs among the world’s best. His first-round opponent is a 23-year-old seeking his first Australian Open win.
First-round opponent: World No.97 Soonwoo Kwon (South Korea)
Head-to-head record: First career meeting

> READ: Kokkinakis determined to make new memories

Li Tu, 24, South Australia
From running a coaching business in Adelaide to earning a Grand Slam debut, it has been a remarkable year for Tu. The former Australian Junior Davis Cup representative dominated the UTR Pro Tennis Series in Australia over the past eight months. After winning 34 of his 36 matches, he has been inspired to pursue a professional career again. Awarded the final wildcard into the draw, which became available when former world No.1 Andy Murray withdrew, the unranked Tu has been pitted against a 39-year-old Spanish veteran contesting a record 75th consecutive Grand Slam.
First-round opponent: World No.63 Feliciano Lopez (Spain)
Head-to-head record: First career meeting

> VIEW: Full Australian Open 2021 men’s singles draw

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