Melbourne, Australia, 11 February 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Could it be a case of third-time lucky for John-Patrick Smith and Astra Sharma in this year’s Australian Open mixed doubles competition?

After a runner-up finish in 2019 and a semifinal run last year, the duo are teaming up again this fortnight at Melbourne Park.

“We have a really good partnership and work well together on court,” Sharma says.  He’s such a nice guy. I feel zero pressure playing with him, because he’s just so lovely.”

They are one of eight teams featuring Aussie players in the Australian Open 2021 mixed doubles competition.

Sam Stosur, who won the Australian Open mixed doubles title with Scott Draper in 2005, is teaming up with fellow Aussie and another former champion Matthew Ebden. The 33-year-old from Perth won the title in 2013 with Jarmila Wolfe.

Australia’s top-ranked men’s doubles player John Peers is teaming with Belinda Woolcock, while the all-Aussie combination of Marc Polmans and Storm Sanders, who reached the quarterfinals together at Australian Open 2018, are another experienced duo to keep an eye on.

The mixed doubles competition begins tomorrow.

Australian Open 2021
Mixed doubles, first round
[WC] John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Astra Sharma (AUS) v Lukasz Kubot (POL)/Iga Swiatek (POL)
[WC] Matthew Ebden (AUS)/Sam Stosur (AUS) v Alexander Bublik (KAZ)/Elena Rybakina (KAZ)
[WC] John Peers (AUS)/Belinda Woolcock (AUS) v Neal Skupski (GBR)/Andreja Klepac (SLO)
[WC] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS)/Ivana Popovic (AUS) v [3] Mate Pavic (CRO)/Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN)
[WC] Marc Polmans (AUS)/Storm Sanders (AUS) v [5] Wesley Koolhof (NED)/Demi Schuurs (NED)
[WC] Andrew Harris (AUS)/Ellen Perez (AUS) v [WC] Luke Saville (AUS)/Asia Muhammad (USA)
[WC] Max Purcell (AUS)/Arina Rodionova (AUS) v Michael Venus (NZL)/Alexa Guarachi (CHI)

> VIEW: Full Australian Open 2021 mixed doubles draw

Tickets for Australian Open 2021 are available through Ticketmaster.