Istanbul, Turkey, 20 September 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Istanbul, Turkey

James Duckworth has capped a stellar week by claiming his 12th career title at ATP Challenger level.

The 29-year-old Australian was the top seed at the Istanbul Challenger Ted Open and lost only a single set across his five matches.

Duckworth clinched his first ATP Challenger title since February 2020 by overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Tung-Lin Wu 6-4 6-2 in the final.

The world No.80 fired seven aces and lost only five points on his service games in a dominant display.

Aussies in action – Nur-Sultan

Men’s singles, final
[1] James Duckworth (AUS) d Tung-Lin Wu (TPE) 6-4 6-2

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

John Millman is the defending champion at an ATP 250 event in Nur-Sultan this week.

The 32-year-old Australian made his long-awaited ATP singles title breakthrough at the event last year.

“It was massive for me,” Millman said of claiming his first title. “There have been plenty of good players who have gone on to not break through and lift a title at the ATP level. It is a really challenging thing to do and it is something that I had set as a goal for the past few years … so to go through and achieve a goal was really special.”

Marc Polmans and Matthew Ebden made winning starts to their qualifying campaigns at the tournament.

Polmans’ opponent retired in the third set of their clash with a hamstring injury, while Ebden stunned top seed Jurij Rodionov in straight sets.

They are aiming to join Millman and James Duckworth in the singles main draw.

Aussies in action – Nur-Sultan

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
[3] Marc Polmans (AUS) d Gian Marco Moroni (ITA) 2-6 7-5 4-1 ret.
Matthew Ebden (AUS)
d [1] Jurij Rodionov (AUT) 7-5 6-4
[2] Maxime Cressy (USA) d Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-3 2-1 ret.

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
[3] Marc Polmans (AUS)
v [Alt] Denis Yevseyev (KAZ)
Matthew Ebden (AUS)
v [8] Dmitry Popko (KAZ)

Men’s singles, first round
[5] John Millman (AUS) v Qualifier
James Duckworth (AUS) v [WC] Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ)

Men’s doubles, first round
James Duckworth (AUS)/Matthew Ebden (AUS) v [2] Andrey Golubev (KAZ)/Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ)
Marc Polmans (AUS)
/Jaume Munar (ESP) v [WC] Alexander Bublik (KAZ)/Daniil Golubev (RUS)

Ostrava, Czech Republic

Astra Sharma has fallen just short in her effort to qualify at a WTA 500 tournament in Ostrava.

The 26-year-old Australian lost in the final qualifying round to Russian Anastasia Zakharova.

Sharma now turns her attention to the doubles competition, where she is partnering Rosalie Van Der Hoek of the Netherlands.

Aussies in action – Ostrava

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
Anastasia Zakharova (RUS) d [12] Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-4 6-3

Women’s doubles, first round
Astra Sharma (AUS)/Rosalie Van Der Hoek (NED) v Alena Fomina (RUS)/Katarzyna Kawa (POL)

Metz, France

Alex de Minaur and Alexei Popyrin lead the Australian charge at an ATP 250 tournament in Metz this week. They are among five Aussies competing in the French indoor hard court event.

Aussies in action – Metz

Men’s singles, first round
[4] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Bye
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Pedro Martinez

Men’s doubles, first round
[4] Luke Saville (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) v Hugo Nys (MON)/Arthur Rinderknech (FRA)
Matt Reid (AUS)
/Ken Skupski (GBR) v [1] Henri Kontinen (FIN)/Ben McLachlan (JPN)
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/David Vega Hernandez (ESP) v [WC] Gregoire Barrere (FRA)/Lucas Pouille (FRA)

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