Nottingham, UK, 8 June 2021 | Leigh Rogers


Lizette Cabrera and Arina Rodionova have made winning starts to the grass-court season, defeating higher-ranked opponents to progress to the second round at a WTA 250 tournament in Nottingham.

Cabrera’s 6-3 6-7(1) 6-2 victory against world No.119 Wang Yafan is the 23-year-old’s first main draw win at tour-level since January 2020.

Rodionova also had not won a tour-level main draw match since January 2020, but the 31-year-old ended that streak with a 5-7 7-6(4) 6-4 victory against world No.137 Wang Xinyu.

World No.151 Cabrera now plays world No.93 Zarina Diyas in the second round, while world No.169 Rodionova faces world No.46 Zhang Shuai.

Thanasi Kokkinakis pushed world No.27 Dan Evans in their ATP Challenger first-round showdown, falling just short of scoring a first top-30 win since July 2019. The Brit prevailed 4-6 7-6(1) 7-6(5) in a two-hour and 51-minute battle.

There was better news for Matt Ebden and Aleksandar Vukic, with both earning their main draw spots as qualifers.

Aussies in action – Nottingham

Women’s singles, first round
Lizette Cabrera (AUS) d Wang Yafan (CHN) 6-3 6-7(1) 6-2
Arina Rodionova (AUS) d Wang Xinyu (CHN) 5-7 7-6(4) 6-4

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
[3] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d Igor Sijsling (NED) 6-4 7-6(5)
[6] Matt Ebden (AUS) d [2] Viktor Troicki (SRB) 6-3 4-6 6-2

Men’s singles, first round
[1] Dan Evans (GBR) d Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 4-6 7-6(1) 7-6(5)
Liam Broady (GBR) d Alex Bolt (AUS) 7-5 3-6 6-3

Women’s singles, second round
Lizette Cabrera (AUS)
v [16] Zarina Diyas (KAZ)
Arina Rodionova (AUS)
v [4] Zhang Shuai (CHN)

Women’s doubles, first round
[1] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Zhang Shuai (CHN) v Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove (NED)/Sabrina Santamaria (USA)
[2] Storm Sanders (AUS)/Caroline Dolehide (USA) v Lauren Davis (USA)/Catherine McNally (USA)

Men’s singles, first round
Marc Polmans (AUS) v [Q] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS)
[Q] Matt Ebden (AUS) v [WC] Ryan Peniston (GBR)

Men’s doubles, first round
[2] Matt Ebden (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) v Evgeny Donskoy (RUS)/Kamil Majchrzak (POL)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Marc-Andrea Huesler (SUI) v Maxime Cressy (USA)/Andrea Vavassori (ITA)
Matt Reid (AUS)/Ken Skupski (GBR) v Mackenzie McDonald (USA)/Brandon Nakashima (USA)
Marc Polmans (AUS)/Artem Sitak (NZL) v [WC] Liam Broady (GBR)/Ryan Peniston (GBR)
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Jay Clarke (GBR) v Thomas Fabbiano (ITA)/Andreas Seppi (ITA)


James Duckworth has advanced to the final qualifying round at an ATP 250 tournament on grass in Stuttgart.

The world No.101 defeated compatriot Luke Saville in a tight two-hour battle 6-7(6) 6-4 6-4. It sets up a meeting with Belarusian Ilya Ivashka.

A right ankle injury derailed Chris O’Connell’s qualifying bid, with the 26-year-old unable to complete his match against Moldova’s Radu Albot.

Aussies in action – Stuttgart

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
James Duckworth (AUS) d [Alt] Luke Saville (AUS) 6-7(6) 6-4 6-4
[7] Radu Albot (MDA) d Chris O’Connell (AUS) 6-3 ret.

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
James Duckworth (AUS)
v [8] Ilya Ivashka (BLR)

Men’s singles, first round
[4] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Bye
[8] John Millman (AUS) v Qualifier
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Guido Pella (ARG)

Men’s doubles, first round
Luke Saville (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [WC] Yannick Hanfmann (GER)/Dominik Koepfer (GER)