Adelaide, Australia , 31 December 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Australians have made an impressive start at the Adelaide International, with five scoring opening-round qualifying wins today.

Alexei Popyrin, James Duckworth, Rinky Hijikata, Storm Hunter and Kimberly Birrell all defeated higher-ranked opponents to advance to the final qualifying round.

Popyrin powered to a 6-2 6-3 victory against world No.99 Zhang Zhizhen, losing only six points on serve in a 59-minute encounter.

Duckworth fired 12 aces in his 6-3 7-6(2) win against American Ben Shelton and will now play fellow Australian Rinky Hijikata for a place in the main draw.

Hijikata, a wildcard entry ranked world No.164, posted a 6-2 6-3 victory against world No.90 Gregoire Barrere. It is 21-year-old Hijikata’s second career win against a top 100-ranked opponent.

Hunter fought past world No.74 Tamara Korpatsch in three sets, prevailing 3-6 6-3 6-3 in a two-hour battle. This sets up a final round showdown with world No.76 Viktorija Golubic.

Birrell showed her fighting spirit too in a 2-6 6-2 7-5 victory against world No.56 Ana Bogdan. It is the 24-year-old from Queensland’s sixth career top-100 win – and first since February 2021.

Main-draw matches begin tomorrow, alongside the final qualifying rounds. Kids can enter for free and adult tickets are just $10.

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The Adelaide International, a combined ATP 250 and WTA 500 event, is held at The Drive. It forms part of a two-week Adelaide Festival of Tennis, which concludes on 14 January.


Men’s qualifying singles, first round
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) d [8] Zhang Zhizhen (CHN) 6-2 6-3
James Duckworth (AUS) d [6] Ben Shelton (USA) 6-3 7-6(2)
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) d [4] Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 6-2 6-3
[7] Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d John Millman (AUS) 7-5 6-2
[5] Taro Daniel (JPN) d [WC] Edward Winter (AUS) 6-1 6-0

Women’s qualifying singles, first round
[WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) d [7] Ana Bogdan (ROU) 2-6 6-2 7-5
[WC] Storm Hunter (AUS) d [12] Tamara Korpatsch (GER) 3-6 6-3 6-3
[6] Mayar Sherif (EGY) d [WC] Lizette Cabrera (AUS) 6-2 7-5

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Wu Yibing (CHN)
James Duckworth (AUS) v [WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
[WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v [4] Shelby Rogers (USA)
[WC] Storm Hunter (AUS) v Viktorija Golubic (SUI)

> READ: Main draws revealed at Adelaide International

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