Indian Wells, USA, 5 October 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Maddison Inglis, Astra Sharma and Priscilla Hon have made perfect starts to their qualifying quests at Indian Wells.

Brimming with confidence after reaching the second round as a qualifier at a WTA 500 tournament in Chicago last week, Inglis continued her impressive momentum to record a 7-6(2) 6-2 victory against Georgia’s Mariam Bolkvadze.

The 23-year-old from Perth, who is currently ranked No.127, now plays American Alycia Parks for a place in the main draw.

Sharma was forced to dig deep to overcome American wildcard Elvina Kalieva, eventually prevailing 4-6 6-1 6-3 in a two-hour and 16-minute battle.

The world No.102 will face another American wildcard in the final qualifying round – 19-year-old Peyton Stearns, who eliminated former top-10 player CoCo Vandeweghe today.

Priscilla Hon was leading 6-3 4-0 when Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova retired in their first-round clash.

The 23-year-old meets Russian Anna Kalinskaya for a place in the main draw. It is a rematch of their final qualifying round clash at Wimbledon earlier this season, which Kalinskaya won in three sets.

Lizette Cabrera and Arina Rodionova both lost their opening-round qualifying matches.

The men’s qualifying competition begins tomorrow. Four Australians – Alex Bolt, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Aleksandar Vukic and Jason Kubler – will compete.

Indian Wells is one of the biggest tournaments on the tennis calendar outside the four Grand Slam events. It is traditionally played in March, but moved to October this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ajla Tomljanovic is carrying Australian hopes in the women’s singles main draw, while five Aussie men (Alex de Minaur, James Duckworth, Alexei Popyrin, Jordan Thompson and John Millman) are direct acceptances.

Aussies in action – Indian Wells

Women’s qualifying singles, first round
[4] Astra Sharma (AUS) d [WC] Elvina Kalieva (USA) 4-6 6-1 6-3
[11] Maddison Inglis (AUS) d Mariam Bolkvadze (GEO) 7-6(2) 6-2
Priscilla Hon (AUS) d [8] Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) 6-3 4-0 ret.
[5] Magdalena Frech (POL) d Lizette Cabrera (AUS) 7-6(2) 6-2
[WC] Usue Maitane Arconada (USA) d [18] Arina Rodionova (AUS) 6-3 6-0

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
[4] Astra Sharma (AUS) v [WC] Peyton Stearns (USA)
[11] Maddison Inglis (AUS)
v Alycia Parks (USA)
Priscilla Hon (AUS)
v [19] Anna Kalinskaya (RUS)

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
[3] Alex Bolt (AUS) v Roberto Marcora (ITA)
[16] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v Matteo Viola (ITA)
[24] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v Ulises Blanch (USA)
Jason Kubler (AUS) v [2] Salvatore Caruso (ITA)

Women’s singles, first round
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v Qualifier