Perseverance pays for Aussies at Roland Garros
Three Australians - Daria Saville, Jason Kubler and Ajla Tomljanovic - feature in second-round singles action on day four at Roland Garros 2022.
As Daria Saville, Jason Kubler and Ajla Tomljanovic continue their Grand Slam quests in Paris, they also provide shining examples in resilience.
While their individual journeys differ, all have bravely overcome career-threatening injuries to continue chasing their dreams.
Tomljanovic is enjoying career-best results after undergoing a shoulder reconstruction and Saville is verging on a top-100 return in her comeback from Achilles surgery.
Kubler, a former world No.1 junior, has dealt with multiple injury setbacks during his career. The 29-year-old is now enjoying a long-awaited Roland Garros main draw debut, proving perseverance does pay off.
They are among 13 Australians in action on day four. Play begins from 7pm AEST and the tournament is broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network and Stan Sport.
Aussies in action:
[Q] Jason Kubler (AUS) v  Cameron Norrie (GBR)
Men’s singles, second round, Court 6, second match
World No.160 Kubler is set to face a top 20-ranked opponent for only the second time in his career. The Brisbane-based qualifier does have, however, a winning record against world No.11 Norrie. Kubler defeated the 26-year-old Brit at an ITF Futures clay-court event nine years ago. Both players carry impressive momentum into this second-round match-up. Kubler has won 18 of his 22 matches on clay this season, while Norrie is on a five-match winning streak after capturing an ATP title in Lyon last week.
Head-to-head record: Kubler leads 1-0
Last meeting: Kubler won 6-2 6-1 (Great Britain, 2013)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v Varvara Gracheva (RUS)
Women’s singles, second round, Court 9, third match
World No.42 Tomljanovic’s confidence is high after scoring one of the biggest wins of her career in the opening round. But after eliminating world No.5 Anett Kontaveit, the challenges don’t get any easier for Australia’s top-ranked woman. Gracheva, a 21-year-old Russian ranked No.71, owns a winning record against the 29-year-old Tomljanovic and has won both of their previous matches in straight sets. Tomljanovic is aiming to advance to the third round in Paris for the second time – and for the first time since 2014.
Head-to-head record: Gracheva leads 2-0
Last meeting: Gracheva won 6-1 7-5 (Dubai, 2022)
[WC] Daria Saville (AUS) v  Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Women’s singles, second round, Court 7, fourth match
The resurgent Saville, a former world No.20 on the comeback from Achilles surgery, is charging back up the rankings and aiming to match her career-best result at Roland Garros. Standing in the 28-year-old’s way is world No.34 Kvitova, a big-hitting Czech and two-time semifinalist in Paris. The Aussie wildcard, currently ranked No.127, has won three of her past four meetings against the former world No.2, including their only previous clay-court meeting in 2016.
Head-to-head record: Saville leads 3-2
Last meeting: Saville won 6-2 6-1 (Beijing, 2018)
 Matthew Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) v Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)/Andrea Vavassori (ITA)
Men’s doubles, first round, Court 2, first match (from 7pm AEST)
Both 34-year-old Ebden and 24-year-old Purcell have achieved new career-high doubles rankings this season (Ebden at world No.24 and Purcell at world No.25). The Australian Open 2022 finalists continue to build momentum, securing their maiden ATP title on clay last month and are now teaming up together at Roland Garros for the first time.
James Duckworth (AUS)/Ilya Ivashka (BLR) v  Tim Puetz (GER)/Michael Venus (NZL)
Men’s doubles, first round, Court 4, first match (from 7pm AEST)
Duckworth is making his 14th appearance in a Grand Slam doubles draw – and for the first time, is not partnering a fellow Australian. The 30-year-old, whose best major doubles result is a quarterfinal run at AO 2020, is teaming with Belarusian Ivashka. They face the No.7 seeds Puetz and Venus, who are both top 20-ranked doubles players.
 Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v Alicja Rosolska (POL)/Erin Routliffe (NZL)
Women’s doubles, first round, Court 5, first match (from 7pm AEST)
For the second year in a row, world No.49 Perez is seeded in the Roland Garros women’s doubles draw. The left-handed 26-year-old and world No.24 Melichar-Martinez are teaming up for their third tournament together and aiming to better second-round efforts at Madrid and Rome earlier this clay-court season.
Sam Stosur (AUS)/Latisha Chan (TPE) v Aleksandra Krunic (SRB)/Alexandra Panova (RUS)
Women’s doubles, first round, Court 2, second match
After a two-year absence, world No.13 Stosur returns to Roland Garros. This is the enduring 38-year-old’s 16th doubles campaign in Paris, where her best result is a title-winning run in 2006. Stosur has formed a new partnership with Chan, a former world No.1 and a two-time mixed doubles champion in Paris, and they are contesting their second tournament together.
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Alexander Bublik (KAZ) v Nathaniel Lammons (USA)/Kamil Majchrzak (POL)
Men’s doubles, first round, Court 3, second match
Kokkinakis is making his second appearance in a Roland Garros doubles draw – and first since 2015. With regular partner Nick Kyrgios not competing in Paris, the Australian Open 2022 doubles champion is instead teaming with Bublik. The 24-year-old from Kazakhstan is another unpredictable shot maker, who was a doubles finalist at Roland Garros last year.
Arina Rodionova (AUS)/Madison Brengle (USA) v Arantxa Rus (NED)/Mayar Sherif (EGY)
Women’s doubles, first round, Court 10, second match
Rodionova is making her fifth appearance in a Roland Garros doubles draw, where her best result is a third-round run in 2015. The 32-year-old from Melbourne is partnering American Brengle, also 32. It is the second time the close friends have teamed up at Grand Slam level – and the first time since Australian Open 2017.
Luke Saville (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Dusan Lajovic (SRB)/Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Men’s doubles, first round, Court 2, fourth match
Saville and Thompson are teaming up at a Grand Slam for the second time – and for the first time since Australian Open 2017. However, the Aussie pair, who are both 28, are a proven combination and have won five ATP Challenger titles together. This experience could prove telling against 31-year-old Lajovic and 28-year-old Vesely, who are both ranked outside the top 300 in doubles.
 Storm Sanders (AUS)/Caroline Dolehide (USA) v Natela Dzalamidze (RUS)/Kamilla Rakhimova (RUS)
Women’s doubles, first round, Court 2, fifth match
Sanders and Dolehide have established themselves as one of the world’s best teams, progressing to the quarterfinals or further in the past three Grand Slam tournaments. Looking to continue that run, they begin their first Roland Garros campaign together as the No.7 seeds. World No.16 Sanders is aiming to improve a 1-3 career win-loss record in Paris.
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