Australians off to a winning start in Wimbledon 2023 qualifying
James Duckworth is among three Australians to record a first-round victory in the Wimbledon 2023 gentlemen's qualifying singles competition.
Australian hopes James Duckworth, Rinky Hijikata and Marc Polmans have recorded first-round wins in the Wimbledon 2023 gentlemen’s qualifying singles competition.
World No.109 Duckworth survived a spirited challenge from British wildcard Stuart Parker, before prevailing 4-6 6-3 6-1.
Duckworth dominated the deciding set, conceding just two points on serve and firing nine winners to three.
“Happy with that. It was my first match on grass this year, never easy, with a fresh court and up against a good grass-court player,” Duckworth said.
World No.113 Hijikata triumphed in an all-Australian battle with Alex Bolt.
The 22-year-old edged out his more experienced opponent in a hard-fought 7-6(2) 7-6(9) victory.
This was the first meeting between two Australian players in the opening round of a Wimbledon gentlemen’s qualifying singles draw in 17 years.
Polmans eliminated 19th seed Andrea Vavassori, scoring a 7-6(3) 7-5 victory against the world No.128-ranked Italian.
This is the biggest grass-court win of Polmans’ career. The 26-year-old had never previously beaten an opponent ranked inside the world’s top 130 on grass.
Second seed Thanasi Kokkinakis, who is in Polmans’ section of the draw, suffered a surprise first-round loss. Switzerland’s Leandro Riedi recorded a 7-5 6-4 victory against the world No.89.
Kokkinakis, who was the best-performing Australian at Roland Garros, struggled to find momentum against world No.165 Riedi. He tallied 11 aces, but was broken three times in their 78-minute encounter.
Dane Sweeny was a last-minute addition to the draw, replacing Hungarian Máté Valkusz.
However, the 22-year-old Aussie wasn’t able to take advantage of his alternate spot. Sweden’s Dragos Nicolae Madaras proved too good in their first-round clash, posting a 7-5 6-2 win.
Players need to win three qualifying rounds to earn a coveted main-draw spot at Wimbledon.
Aussies in action – Wimbledon
Gentlemen’s qualifying singles, first round
 James Duckworth (AUS) d [WC] Stuart Parker (GBR) 4-6 6-3 6-1
 Rinky Hijikata (AUS) d Alex Bolt (AUS) 7-6(2) 7-6(9)
Marc Polmans (AUS) d  Andrea Vavassori (ITA) 7-6(3) 7-5
Leandro Riedi (SUI) d  Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 7-5 6-4
Dragos Nicolae Madaras (SWE) d [Alt] Dane Sweeny (AUS) 7-5 6-2
Ladies’ qualifying singles, first round
 Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v Dayana Yastremska (UKR)
 Olivia Gadecki (AUS) v Katrina Scott (USA)
Storm Hunter (AUS) v [WC] Mingge Xu (GBR)
Jaimee Fourlis (AUS) v Polona Hercog (SLO)
Priscilla Hon (AUS) v Amandine Hesse (FRA)
Arina Rodionova (AUS) v Laura Siegemund (GER)
Gentlemen’s qualifying singles, second round
 James Duckworth (AUS) v Harold Mayot (FRA)
 Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Tomas Barrios Vera (CHI)
Marc Polmans (AUS) v Zachary Svajda (USA)
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