Melbourne, Australia, 17 January 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Alex de Minaur is among nine Aussie players beginning their Australian Open 2023 campaigns today.

De Minaur, who defeated world No.2 Rafael Nadal at the United Cup earlier this month, is feeling confident ahead of his clash with qualifier Hsu Yu Hsiou this evening.

“It’s been a couple (of) great weeks for me, great way to start the year,” said world No.24 De Minaur.

“I’ve been here (in Melbourne) now for probably over a week. I’ve been practising, getting used to the conditions. It’s been a couple hot days. I’ve had a lot of high-level practice.

“I enjoy playing here in Australia. The crowds are always amazing. I’m looking forward to another chance of doing that.”

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Aussies in action:

[WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v [31] Kaia Kanepi (EST)
Women’s singles, first round, Kia Arena, first match (from 11am AEDT)
Birrell, a 24-year-old from the Gold Coast, is making her fourth Australian Open main-draw appearance. The world No.167’s best result is a third-round run in 2019. Since then, she has undergone two elbow surgeries and is fighting hard to reclimb the rankings. Birrell faces experienced Kanepi, a 37-year-old Estonian who contested her first Australian Open in 2002. The big-hitting No.31 seed recorded her best result at Melbourne Park last summer, scoring two top-20 wins to reach the quarterfinals.
Head-to-head record: Kanepi leads 1-0
Last meeting: Kanepi won 6-1 6-3 (Brisbane, January 2018)

Jordan Thompson (AUS) v J.J. Wolf (USA)
Men’s singles, first round, Court 3, second match
Making his 10th consecutive Australian Open main-draw appearance, the hard-working Thompson has a clear edge in experience in this opening-round clash. The 28-year-old from Sydney, who is ranked No.88 and aiming to record his first main-draw win at Melbourne Park since 2020, meets a rising American making his Australian Open main-draw debut. The 24-year-old Wolf broke into the world’s top 100 in August last year and is currently ranked No.67.
Head-to-head record: First meeting

> VIEW: Australian Open 2023 men’s singles draw

[Q] Max Purcell (AUS) v Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN)
Men’s singles, first round, Court 7, second match
World No.205 Purcell has qualified at the Australian Open for a second time and is feeling confident after sealing his spot without dropping a set. “I can’t see why I can’t do a bit of damage,” he says of his main-draw chances. The 24-year-old from Sydney won a Wimbledon doubles title last year and is a two-time Australian Open finalist, but is now making singles his priority. He’ll be aiming to record a third career top-50 win when he faces Ruusuvuori, a 23-year-old from Finland ranked No.46.
Head-to-head record: Ruusuvuori leads 1-0
Last meeting: Ruusuvuori won 6-1 6-2 (Nur-Sultan, October 2020)

[WC] Jaimee Fourlis (AUS) v Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE)
Women’s singles, first round, Court 13, second match
Fourlis, an Australian Open 2022 mixed doubles finalist, is making her third main-draw singles appearance and first since 2018. The 23-year-old from Melbourne, whose early promise was halted by a shoulder reconstruction in 2020, broke into the world’s top 150 in a career-best 2022 season. The Aussie wildcard faces 17-year-old Fruhvirtova, who is making her Australian Open debut. The world No.82-ranked Czech is currently the youngest woman in the world’s top 100.
Head-to-head record: First meeting

> VIEW: Australian Open 2023 women’s singles draw

Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Men’s singles, first round, Kia Arena, third match
Kokkinakis is pumped up to make his seventh Australian Open main-draw appearance. “I’m going to leave it all out there,” vowed the 26-year-old Aussie. “I’m definitely up and about.” The world No.159 faces the experienced Fognini, a 35-year-old Italian ranked No.57, in the opening round. Former world No.9 Fognini is making his 16th consecutive main-draw appearance at Melbourne Park, where he has made the fourth round on four previous occasions.
Head-to-head record: Kokkinakis leads 2-0
Last meeting: Kokkinakis won 6-4 6-3 (Geneva, May 2022)

[WC] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Tseng Chun-Hsin (TPE)
Men’s singles, first round, Court 3, third match
For the second consecutive Grand Slam tournament, Popyrin has drawn 21-year-old Tseng in the opening round. World No.113 Popyrin won their US Open 2022 clash in straight sets, so will like his chances against the former world No.1-ranked junior, who is currently ranked No.115 and contesting his second Australian Open. The 23-year-old Popyrin, an Adelaide quarterfinalist earlier this month, is making his sixth consecutive main-draw appearance at his home Grand Slam.
Head-to-head record: Popyrin leads 1-0
Last meeting: Popyrin won 6-3 7-6(5) 7-6(3) (US Open, August 2022)

> READ: Popyrin, Kokkinakis determined to maintain momentum

Chris O’Connell (AUS) v Jenson Brooksby (USA)
Men’s singles, first round, Court 6, third match
The 28-year-old O’Connell was a breakout star at last year’s Australian Open, recording his first top-20 win to reach the third round. The Sydney athlete has since broken into the world’s top 100 and is now the No.3-ranked Aussie man at world No.80. O’Connell begins his fifth Australian Open campaign against an in-form American. The 22-year-old Brooksby made the semifinals in Auckland last week and makes his Australian Open debut ranked world No.39.
Head-to-head record: O’Connell leads 1-0
Last meeting: O’Connell won 6-4 4-6 7-5 (San Diego, September 2022)

> VIEW: Full Australian Open 2023 day two schedule

[Q] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v [Q] Brandon Holt (USA)
Men’s singles, first round, 1573 Arena, fourth match (not before 4pm AEDT)
World No.146 Vukic is brimming with confidence ahead of his third consecutive main-draw appearance at his home Grand Slam. The 26-year-old from Sydney won three qualifying rounds last week without dropping a set. “To qualify at any Grand Slam, but especially the Australian Open, it means a lot,” Vukic said. He meets another qualifier, world No.215 Holt, in the opening round. The 24-year-old American is the son of former world No.1 Tracy Austin and is making his Australian Open debut.
Head-to-head record: First meeting

[22] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [Q] Hsu Yu Hsiou (TPE)
Men’s singles, first round, John Cain Arena, fourth match (not before 7pm AEDT)
The 23-year-old De Minaur begins his sixth Australian Open campaign against world No.209 Hsu. “He’s qualified, making his debut. He’ll probably have not much to lose. It’s going to be a tough, tough match,” said world No.24 De Minaur. Hsu has achieved several career milestones in Australia. The 23-year-old won the AO 2018 boys’ doubles title, claimed his first ATP Challenger crown in Sydney in October and is now set to make his Grand Slam main-draw debut.
Head-to-head record: First meeting

> READ MORE: De Minaur is “ready to go”

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