Aussie heroes ready for third-round battles at Australian Open 2023
Alexei Popyrin and Alex de Minaur lead the Aussie charge on an exciting day six at Australian Open 2023.
Alexei Popyrin and Alex de Minaur are giving local fans plenty to cheer about at Australian Open 2023.
Their remarkable performances to reach the third round in the men’s singles competition has sparked incredible scenes at Melbourne Park, with fans embracing their spirited efforts.
“I get goose bumps just thinking about it, honestly,” Popyrin said of the crowd support after recording his second consecutive five-set win in front of a vocal John Cain Arena crowd. “They really helped me through the tough times.”
De Minaur is also finding inspiration in the success of Popyrin, his childhood friend and Davis Cup team-mate.
“It’s amazing to see Aussies do great,” said De Minaur. “It makes me very proud and very excited.”
Australians fans will have a lot to cheer about on day six, with 26 Aussie players scheduled to compete. This includes De Minaur and Popyrin in third-round men’s singles action.
Aussies in action:
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Benjamin Bonzi (FRA)
Men’s singles, third round, Rod Laver Arena, day session, third match
De Minaur is aiming to progress to the Australian Open fourth round for a second straight year. Although the 23-year-old Aussie has scored two wins against world No.48 Bonzi in the past six months, the No.22 seed knows he needs to be wary of the 26-year-old Frenchman. “He’s a very solid opponent and a competitor,” De Minaur noted. “I’m looking forward to it. It should be a great battle.” Bonzi is enjoying a career-best Grand Slam run and showed his fighting spirt in the second round, where he recovered from a two-set deficit to eliminate 14th seed Pablo Carreno Busta.
Head-to-head record: De Minaur leads 2-1
Last meeting: De Minaur won 6-3 6-1 (Stockholm, October 2022)
[WC] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Ben Shelton (USA)
Men’s singles, third round, John Cain Arena, fourth match (not before 7pm AEDT)
The resurgent Popyrin has been lighting up Melbourne Park with his spectacular performances this week. The 23-year-old wildcard is now looking to reach a major fourth round for the first time. World No.89 Shelton is enjoying an impressive run of his own. The 20-year-old is travelling outside of America for the first time and has won his first Grand Slam main-draw matches. “He’s a big lefty, big serve, big from the back, likes to come forward, has a huge game. Is really up-and-coming with so much confidence,” world No.113 Popyrin noted. “I’m going into it ready to battle.”
Head-to-head record: First meeting
 Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v Marta Kostyuk (UKR)/Elena-Gabriela Ruse (ROU)
Women’s doubles, second round, John Cain Arena, first match (from 11am AEDT)
World No.20 Perez has matched her career-best Australian Open result, advancing to the women’s doubles second round for a third time. The 27-year-old from New South Wales, who is partnering world No.19-ranked American Melichar-Martinez, now has her sights set on the third round. The ninth seeds face world No.38 Kostyuk, a 20-year-old from Ukraine, and world No.89 Ruse, a 25-year-old Romanian.
[WC] Olivia Gadecki (AUS)/Priscilla Hon (AUS) v  Desirae Krawczyk (USA)/Demi Schuurs (NED)
Women’s doubles, second round, Court 8, second match
The wildcard pairing of 20-year-old Gadecki and 24-year-old Hon, who are both from Queensland, have matched their career-best Australian Open result and are now looking to advance to a major third round for a first time. To get there, they will need to defeat one of the world’s best teams. World No.16 Krawczyk, a 29-year-old American, and world No.18 Schuurs, a 29-year-old from the Netherlands, are the sixth seeds.
 John Peers (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) v Andre Goransson (SWE)/Marc-Andrea Huesler (SUI)
Men’s doubles, second round, John Cain Arena, third match
World No.38 Peers has progressed to the Australian Open second round for an 11th straight year. The 34-year-old, who was born in Melbourne and was once a ballkid at the tournament, is now aiming to reach the third round for a seventh time. Partnering world No.22 Mies, the No.14 seeds face Goransson, a 28-year-old Swede ranked No.68, and the towering Huesler, a 26-year-old from Switzerland.
[WC] Alex Bolt (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) v  Nikola Mektic (CRO)/Mate Pavic (CRO)
Men’s doubles, second round, Court 7, third match
World No.5 Pavic and world No.8 Mektic are the reigning Olympic champions, yet had a tough run against Australian combinations in 2022. They lost to Aussies at the Australian Open (second round), Wimbledon (final) and Davis Cup (semifinals). South Australian pair, 30-year-old Bolt and 28-year-old Saville, will be hoping to continue this trend when they clash in the second round.
[WC] Olivia Gadecki (AUS)/Marc Polmans (AUS) v  Ena Shibahara (JPN)/Wesley Koolhof (NED)
Mixed doubles, first round, 1573 Arena, fourth match
This is 20-year-old Gadecki’s debut in Grand Slam mixed doubles. Her partner, 25-year-old Melbourne local Polmans, is contesting his seventh Australian Open. The Aussie wildcards have a tough opening-round draw, meeting fourth seeds and reigning Roland Garros champions, world No.23 Shibahara and world No.3 Koolhof.
[WC] Alana Parnaby (AUS)/Andrew Harris (AUS) v Zhang Shuai (CHN)/Robin Haase (NED)
Mixed doubles, first round, Court 3, fourth match
Parnaby, Australia’s No.8-ranked woman in doubles at world No.220, is making her Grand Slam debut. The 28-year-old is partnering a fellow Melbourne local. The 28-year-old Harris is currently ranked at a career-high world No.124 and is making his third appearance in an Australian Open mixed doubles draw. The Aussie wildcards face world No.26 Zhang and world No.42 Haase.
[WC] Sam Stosur (AUS)/Matt Ebden (AUS) v  Demi Schuurs (NED)/Nikola Mektic (CRO)
Mixed doubles, first round, Court 3, fifth match
Stosur and Ebden have made two Grand Slam mixed doubles finals as a team, including at Australian Open 2021, and won nine of their 13 matches together last season. However, they have a tough first-round assignment against the accomplished world No.18 Schuurs and world No.8 Mektic. The 38-year-old Stosur is retiring after this tournament, so aiming to extend her farewell a little longer.
[WC] Jaimee Fourlis (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) v Sania Mirza (IND)/Rohan Bopanna (IND)
Mixed doubles, first round, Court 7, fifth match
Melbourne local Fourlis made the Australian Open final in her mixed doubles debut last year. The 23-year-old is partnering world No.81 Saville, who is contesting his eighth Australian Open mixed doubles competition. The Aussie wildcards face experienced Indians, world No.29 Mirza and world No.19 Bopanna. The 36-year-old Mirza, a former world No.1, is contesting the final Grand Slam of her storied career.
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) v  Lloyd Glasspool (GBR)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN)
Men’s doubles, second round, Margaret Court Arena, night session, second match
Hijikata, a 21-year-old from Sydney, and Kubler, a 29-year-old from Brisbane, have been two of the breakout Aussie stars at this year’s Australian Open, with each winning singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches. World No.12 Glasspool, a 29-year-old Brit, and world No.11 Heliovaara, a 33-year-old from Finland, are in-form too and unbeaten in their seven matches so far this season.
[WC] Gabby Gregg (AUS) v [Q] Onyu Choi (KOR)
Girls’ singles, first round, Court 13, first match (from 11am AEDT)
Gregg earned a wildcard as the winner of the 16/u Australian Championships during last month’s December Showdown. The 15-year-old from New South Wales makes her Grand Slam debut against Korean qualifier Choi, a 16-year-old with a world junior ranking of No.91.
[WC] Zachary Viiala (AUS) v Zoran Ludoski (SRB)
Boys’ singles, first round, Court 15, first match (from 11am AEDT)
Viiala, a promising 17-year-old from Perth, is making his Australian Open debut. He was sidelined with injury for much of 2022, but won his first tournament in his return and then spent time competing across Asia and America. His first-round opponent, Ludoski, is a 17-year-old from Serbia with a world junior ranking of No.54.
[WC] Zara Larke (AUS) v Ashton Bowers (USA)
Girls’ singles, first round, Court 16, first match (from 11am AEDT)
Larke made the Australian Open girls’ singles second round in 2022 as a qualifier. The 17-year-old from Queensland, who is ranked No.95, is a wildcard entry this year and faces Bowers, a 17-year-old American ranked No.43, in the opening round.
[WC] Thomas Gadecki (AUS) v  Kilian Feldbausch (SUI)
Boys’ singles, first round, Court 13, second match
Gadecki’s oldest sister, Olivia, has been shining on the Grand Slam stage this week. Now the 16-year-old gets his chance. Gadecki, who earned his wildcard as winner of last month’s 16/u Australian Championships, faces 17-year-old Feldbausch, an AO 2022 junior semifinalist.
[WC] Jeremy Zhang (AUS) v Manas Dhamne (IND)
Boys’ singles, first round, Court 13, third match
The 17-year-old Zhang is the third highest-ranked Australian junior at world No.105 and is making his Australian Open debut. Zhang showed his promise winning back-to-back ITF junior titles in July last year. His first-round opponent is Dhamne, a 15-year-old Indian ranked No.76.
[WC] Hugh Winter (AUS) v Vit Kalina (CZE)
Boys’ singles, first round, Court 12, fourth match
Winter is the younger brother of Edward, who was named Junior Male Athlete of the Year at the 2022 Australian Tennis Awards. The 16-year-old from South Australia makes his Australian Open debut against Kalina, a 17-year-old Czech ranked No.62.
[WC] Anja Nayar (AUS) v  Alina Korneeva
Girls’ singles, first round, Court 13, fourth match
The 17-year-old Nayar is the No.6-ranked Australian junior girl at world No.113. She qualified for the girls’ singles event at Australian Open 2022 and has been awarded a wildcard this year. Nayar faces the in-form Korneeva, a 15-year-old who reached the semifinals at an ITF event in Traralgon last week.
Emerson Jones (AUS) v [WC] Carolina Xavier Laydner (BRA)
Girls’ singles, first round, Court 12, fifth match
Jones is currently the highest-ranked 14-year-old in the world. The world No.34 is from the Gold Coast and is the daughter of Olympic silver medal-winning triathlete, Loretta Harrop. Jones’ first-round opponent is a 17-year-old who won the AO Junior Series in Brazil.
[WC] Alana Subasic (AUS) v Maria Daciana Ciubotaru (ROU)
Girls’ singles, first round, Court 13, fifth match
The 15-year-old Subasic represented Australia in the Junior Billie Jean King Cup Finals in 2022 and is now set to make her Australian Open debut. Subasic has been drawn against Ciubotaru, a 17-year-old Romanian with a world junior ranking of No.108.
[WC] Marcus Schoeman (AUS) v Oliver Ojakaar (EST)
Boys’ singles, first round, Court 14, sixth match
Schoeman, a 17-year-old from Queensland, made four ITF junior finals last season and will now make his Australian Open debut. The wildcard, who is ranked No.185, faces Ojakaar, a 17-year-old from Estonia ranked No.55.
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