Melbourne, Australia , 12 January 2023 | Vivienne Christie

Aleksander Vukic will contest the Australian Open main draw for a third straight year, after victory over the higher-ranked Michael Mmoh in the final round of qualifying.

The Australian came from behind in both sets to secure his 6-4 7-5 victory in an hour and 50 minutes.

“I’m very happy,” said Vukic, who was also a winner over Thiago Agustin Tirante and Gabriel Diallo this week.

“It was three tough matches and my level was pretty consistent throughout. To qualify at any Grand Slam but especially the Australian Open, it means a lot.”

Mmoh, who was the No.9 seed in Australian Open qualifying, took impressive momentum into a second career match with Vukic.

The 25-year-old American dropped just one game in his first-round qualifying win over American wildcard Bruno Kuzuhara and overcame former top-20 ranked Benoit Paire in straight sets in the second round.

Initially it seemed that today’s encounter would be similarly straightforward, with Mmoh immediately claiming a service break and consolidating to take a 2-0 lead. But when Vukic levelled the match two games later it settled into a tussle for the two evenly matched combatants, who are separated by 20 rankings places.

A double fault from world No.109 Mmoh provided Vukic with a first set point opportunity; sturdier in the bigger moment, the Australian dominated an extended rally and converted after 42 minutes.

The 129th-ranked Australian was similarly composed as Mmoh gained an early second-set service break to take a 3-1 lead. As energy levels briefly appeared to dip for the American, Vukic rallied to level after the sixth game.

The 26-year-old Sydneysider drew on a supportive Court 3 audience as he staved off a consistent challenge from the determined Mmoh, who held eight break points for the match.

But the American would lament the serve struggles that came at just the wrong moments, with a sixth double fault providing Vukic with a pair of match points.

He converted at the first opportunity, with a brilliantly placed forehand winner – Vukic’s 23rd winner in total, as he completed his third consecutive match win in straight sets.

“I was pretty tired but I think he was as well. it was a very physical match. There were a lot of ups and downs in this match, both of us trying to stay focused, trying to be present,” said the Australian.
“I sensed an opportunity at the end and got a little bit fortunate but also took my chances and I’m very, very happy.”

> RELATED: Singles main draws revealed for Australian Open 2023 

Vukic becomes the 11th local contender in the Australian Open 2023 men’s singles field, joining Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, Chris O’Connell, Jordan Thompson, Thanasi Kokkinakis, as well as wildcards Jason Kubler, Alexei Popyrin, Rinky Hijikata and John Millman.

Max Purcell also won through qualifying, while Tristan Schoolkate exited in the final round today.  

Main-draw action at Australian Open 2023 begins on Monday 16 January.

> BUY NOW: Australian Open 2023 tickets

AUSSIES IN ACTION – Australian Open

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
Max Purcell (AUS) d [22] Matteo Arnaldi (ITA) 6-4 6-3
[21] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d [9] Michael Mmoh (USA) 6-4 7-5
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) d [WC] Tristan Schoolkate (AUS) 6-1 6-4

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