Indian Wells, USA, 6 October 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Astra Sharma has earned a place in the Indian Wells main draw, qualifying with a 7-5 6-0 victory over American wildcard Peyton Stearns today.

The 26-year-old from Perth was clutch under pressure, saving nine of the 10 break points she faced in the 79-minute final qualifying round match.

The world No.102-ranked Sharma plays Croatian Donna Vekic in the opening round. It will be her first career meeting with the former top-20 player, who is currently ranked No.99 and on a four-match losing streak.

Unfortunately fellow Australians Maddison Inglis and Priscilla Hon both lost their final qualifying matches.

Aleksandar Vukic advanced to the final round in the men’s qualifying singles competition, posting a 6-2 7-5 win against American Ulises Blanch.

The world No.202 is the last Australian in the draw, with Alex Bolt, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jason Kubler all losing their opening-round matches.

Kokkinakis had a match point – and saved five – in his clash with Italian Matteo Viola, before eventually being beaten in a final-set tiebreak.

Aussies in action – Indian Wells

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
[4] Astra Sharma (AUS) d [WC] Peyton Stearns (USA) 7-5 6-0
[19] Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) d Priscilla Hon (AUS) 6-4 7-5
Alycia Parks (USA) d [11] Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-3 6-4

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
[24] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d Ulises Blanch (USA) 6-2 7-5
[2] Salvatore Caruso (ITA) d Jason Kubler (AUS) 6-0 6-3
Roberto Marcora (ITA) d [3] Alex Bolt (AUS) 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 6-2
Matteo Viola (ITA) d [16] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-3 3-6 7-6(9)

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
[24] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v [12] Bjorn Fratangelo (USA)

Women’s singles, first round
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v [Q] Usue Maitane Arconada (USA)
[Q] Astra Sharma (AUS) v Donna Vekic (CRO)

Men’s singles, first round
[22] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Bye
James Duckworth (AUS) v Mackenzie McDonald (USA)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB)
John Millman (AUS) v [WC] Jack Sock (USA)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Kevin Anderson (RSA)

Women’s doubles, first round
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)/Shelby Rogers (USA) v Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR)/Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
Anastasia Rodionova (AUS)/Arina Rodionova (AUS) v Veronika Kudermetova (RUS)/Elena Rybakina (KAZ)

Men’s doubles, first round
[7] John Peers (AUS)/Filip Polasek (SVK) v Ariel Behar (URU)/Gonzlao Escobar (ECU)
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Reilly Opelka (USA) v Aslan Karatsev (RUS)/Andrey Rublev (RUS)
Luke Saville (AUS)/Cameron Norrie (GBR) v [2] Rajeev Ram (USA)/Joe Salisbury (GBR)