Aussies starring on Australian Open doubles court
Several Australian players are enjoying impressive runs in the doubles competitions at Australian Open 2021.
Twelve Australian players advanced to the second round in the singles competitions at this year’s Australian Open, the most to reach this stage since 1992.
Aussie players are impressing on the doubles court too, with several scoring breakthrough wins and posting career-best results.
Matthew Ebden and John-Patrick Smith combined today to defeat last year’s men’s doubles finalists Max Purcell and Luke Saville in an all-Australian second-round showdown.
The 33-year-old Ebden and 32-year-old Smith did not face a break point as they posted a 7-6(3) 6-4 victory against the No.15 seeds.
Ebden and Smith now progress to the third round of an Australian Open men’s doubles draw for the first time in both of their careers.
John Peers is enjoying an impressive start to his men’s doubles campaign too.
The 32-year-old, who is partnering New Zealand’s Michael Venus, is through to the Australian Open third round for the fifth time in his career. Peers, the Australian Open men’s doubles champion in 2017, and Venus are yet to lose a set this week.
James Duckworth and Marc Polmans are also into the third round without dropping a set. It is the second consecutive year the wildcard pairing have reached this stage. They now face eighth-seeded Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, the Australian Open 2019 champions, in the third round.
Polmans, teaming with Storm Sanders, also scored a first-round mixed doubles win today. The Aussie duo eliminated fifth-seeded Dutch combination Wesley Koolhof and Demi Schuurs, who are both top 20-ranked players.
Eight teams featuring Australian players are still in contention to win the mixed doubles title.
Sanders and Arina Rodionova are the last remaining Aussie players in the women’s doubles draw.
Maddison Inglis and Lizette Cabrera, who this week won her first Grand Slam doubles match, held a match point in their second-round clash with No.7 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara today. However, the Japanese duo fought back to win in three sets and stretch their 2021 winning streak to nine matches.
Belinda Woolcock and Olivia Gadecki, who both posted their career-first Grand Slam doubles wins this week, also exited in second-round action today.
While Ash Barty, Australia’s top-ranked woman in doubles at world No.14, withdrew ahead of her second-round match.
Aussies in action – day five results
Men’s doubles, second round
 John Peers (AUS)/Michael Venus (NZL) d [WC] Ji-Sung Nam (KOR)/Min-Kyu Song (KOR) 6-4 6-3
[WC] Matthew Ebden (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) d  Max Purcell (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) 7-6(3) 6-4
[WC] James Duckworth (AUS)/Marc Polmans (AUS) d Ricardas Berankis (LTE)/Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 7-6(3) 6-2
Women’s doubles, second round
 Elise Mertens (BEL)/Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) d Ash Barty (AUS)/Jennifer Brady (USA) walkover
 Shuko Aoyama (JPN)/Ena Shibahara (JPN) d [WC] Lizette Cabrera (AUS)/Maddison Inglis (AUS) 5-7 7-6(5) 6-0
Leylah Fernandez (CAN)/Heather Watson (GBR) d [WC] Olivia Gadecki (AUS)/Belinda Woolcock (AUS) 7-5 6-2
Mixed doubles, first round
[WC] Marc Polmans (AUS)/Storm Sanders (AUS) d  Wesley Koolhof (NED)/Demi Schuurs (NED) 6-3 3-6 [11-9]