Aussie mates all set for Roland Garros opening-round battle
Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson are scheduled to play each other today in opening-round singles action at Roland Garros 2023.
Two Australian men are set to go head-to-head in the opening round at Roland Garros for the first time in 22 years.
Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson teamed up to win an ATP doubles title together last month, but will be singles opponents today.
It is the first all-Australian first-round meeting in a men’s singles draw in Paris since 2001, when Wayne Arthurs scored a five-set win against eighth seed Pat Rafter.
The most recent all-Australian match-up at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament was in 2015, when a teenage Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated Bernard Tomic in a five-set second-round battle.
The winner between 25-year-old Purcell and 29-year-old Thompson will become the fourth Australian man, joining Alex de Minaur, Jason Kubler and Thanasi Kokkinakis, to progress to the second round at this year’s tournament. This is the most to reach this stage in 23 years.
Roland Garros is broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network and Stan Sport, with coverage beginning from 6.30pm AEST.
Aussies in action on day three:
Max Purcell (AUS) v Jordan Thompson (AUS)
Men’s singles, first round, Court 12, first match (from 7pm AEST)
Six ATP Challenger finals appearances so far in 2023 have helped Purcell skyrocket up the singles rankings. From outside the top 200 in February, the New South Wales talent now sits at world No.68. This has earned him direct acceptance into a Grand Slam draw for a first time. Thompson has been impressive form too, winning two ATP Challenger titles. The world No.76, who is making his eighth consecutive main-draw appearance in Paris, defeated Purcell in an ATP Challenger final last month.
Head-to-head record: Thompson leads 3-1
Last meeting: Thompson won 6-3 6-2 (Gwangju, May 2023)
 Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) v Francisco Cabral (POR)/Rafael Matos (BRA)
Men’s doubles, first round, Court 5, first match (from 7pm AEST)
World No.34 Hijikata and world No.27 Kubler are both making their Roland Garros doubles debut. The reigning Australian Open champions will look to keep their unbeaten team record at Grand Slam level intact when they play world No.57 Cabral and world No.39 Matos in the opening round.
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) v Simone Bolleli (ITA)/Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Men’s doubles, first round, Court 4, third match
World No.81 Kokkinakis is a Grand Slam doubles champion, but this is just his second doubles appearance this season. The 27-year-old Aussie is partnering German Jan-Lennard Struff. The first-time pairing face the Australian Open 2015 champions, world No.45 Bolleli and world No.52 Fognini.
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