Melbourne, Australia, 20 January 2023 | Leigh Rogers

From elation to heartbreak, Aussie players experienced a full spectrum of emotions today in the Australian Open 2023 mixed doubles competition.

Maddison Inglis and Jason Kubler were thrilled – and relieved – after saving two match points in their first-round victory.

The Aussie wildcards scored a hard-fought 7-6(8) 1-6 [11-9] victory against world No.32 Alicja Rosolska and world No.6 Jean-Julien Rojer. Inglis and Kubler recovered from a 7-9 deficit in the deciding match tiebreak.

“I thought we were in a little bit of trouble there, but anything can happen in a match tiebreak, so you’ve just got to hang in there and try for literally every point,” beamed 25-year-old Inglis after claiming her career-first Grand Slam mixed doubles win.

“It was really exciting. I’m so happy we get to play again.”

> READ: Childhood friends making “dream come true” at Australian Open

Kimberly Birrell and Rinky Hijikata combined to record their first Grand Slam mixed doubles win as well, eliminating world No.9 Lyudmyla Kichenok and world No.44 Gonzalo Escobar in straight sets.

Lizette Cabrera is also celebrating a major milestone. The 24-year-old teamed with fellow Townsville talent John-Patrick Smith to notch her first win in a Grand Slam mixed doubles draw too.

There was heart-break though for reigning US Open champions Storm Hunter and John Peers, who lost in the opening round.

Hunter and Peers had three match points during a tense second-set tiebreak, but were unable to convert. Two-time Wimbledon champions Desirae Krawczyk and Neal Skupski took advantage and eventually closed out a 6-7(3) 7-6(12) [10-8] victory.

Eighth-seeded Max Purcell and his Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski had no worries, posting a comfortable 6-2 7-5 win against world No.10 Yang Zhaoxuan and world No.36 Jan Zielinski.

AUSSIES IN ACTION – Australian Open

Mixed doubles, first round
[8] Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN)/Max Purcell (AUS) d Yang Zhaoxuan (CHN)/Jan Zielinski (POL) 6-2 7-5
[WC] Maddison Inglis (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) d [7] Alicja Rosolska (POL)/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) 7-6(8) 1-6 [11-9]
[WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS)/Rinky Hijikata (AUS) d Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR)/Gonzalo Escobar (ECU) 6-1 7-6(5)
[WC] Lizette Cabrera (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) d Kimberley Zimmermann (BEL)/Tim Puetz (GER) 7-5 6-3
[3] Desirae Krawczyk (USA)/Neal Skupski (GBR) d Storm Hunter (AUS)/John Peers (AUS) 6-7(3) 7-6(12) [10-8]

> READ: Top-ranked Aussies advance in women’s doubles

Mixed doubles, first round
[6] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN) v Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA)/Matwe Middelkoop (NED)
[WC] Olivia Gadecki (AUS)/Marc Polmans (AUS) v [4] Ena Shibahara (JPN)/Wesley Koolhof (NED)
[WC] Sam Stosur (AUS)/Matt Ebden (AUS) v [5] Demi Schuurs (NED)/Nikola Mektic (CRO)
[WC] Alana Parnaby (AUS)/Andrew Harris (AUS) v Shuai Zhang (CHN)/Robin Haase (NED)
[WC] Jaimee Fourlis (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) v Sania Mirza (IND)/Rohan Bopanna (IND)

Mixed doubles, second round
[8] Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN)/Max Purcell (AUS) v [WC] Lizette Cabrera (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS)
[WC] Maddison Inglis (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS)
[WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS)/Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v TBC

> VIEW: Australian Open 2023 mixed doubles draw

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