Atlanta, USA, 27 July 2022 | Leigh Rogers

James Duckworth has made a promising start at this week’s Atlanta Open, scoring his first tour-level victory on hard court since November.

The world No.62, who was sidelined for four months following hip surgery earlier this season, recorded a 6-1 6-7(5) 6-3 victory against German qualifier Dominik Koepfer in first-round action today.

Duckworth won 81 per cent of first serve points in the two-hour and three-minute encounter and proved clutch under pressure, saving five of the six break points he faced.

The victory propels the 30-year-old Australian into a second-round showdown with compatriot Alex de Minaur. It will be Duckworth’s first career meeting against world No.30 De Minaur.

Duckworth was the sole Australian winner in singles action today at the ATP 250 tournament.

American wildcard Andres Martin upset Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in their opening-round clash, scoring a 6-3 6-2 victory.

While Nick Kyrgios withdrew ahead of his scheduled first-round match against German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk due to a left knee injury.

In doubles action, Wimbledon champions Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell scored a 6-3 7-6(4) victory against fellow Australian Alexei Popyrin and American Frances Tiafoe.

It is the fourth-seeded duo’s seventh consecutive win and sets up a quarterfinal showdown with another all-Australian team, Jason Kubler and John Peers.

Kubler and Peers earned their spot in the final eight with a 6-3 6-2 win against wildcard pairing Colombian Andrei Duarte and Spaniard Alvaro Regalado Pedrol.

Aussies in action – Atlanta

Men’s singles, first round
James Duckworth (AUS)
d [Q] Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-1 6-7(5) 6-3
[WC] Andres Martin (USA) d Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-3 6-2

Men’s doubles, first round
[4] Matthew Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS)/Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-3 7-6(4)
Jason Kubler (AUS)/John Peers (AUS) d [WC] Andrei Duarte (COL)/Alvaro Regalado Pedrol (ESP) 6-3 6-2

Men’s singles, second round
[3] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v James Duckworth (AUS)
John Millman (AUS) v [8] Brandon Nakashima (USA)

Men’s doubles, first round
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) v Steve Johnson (USA)/Tommy Paul (USA)

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
[2] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Gonzalo Escobar (ECU)/Hunter Reese (USA)
[4] Matthew Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) v Jason Kubler (AUS)/John Peers (AUS)

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