London, Wimbledon, 26 June 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Five Australians are set to contest the Wimbledon 2023 gentlemen’s singles qualifying competition, which begins at Roehampton in London today.

The schedule includes an all-Australian battle between Rinky Hijikata and Alex Bolt. This is the first all-Aussie opening-round clash in Wimbledon qualifying in 17 years.

Aussies in action on day one of qualifying:

[7] James Duckworth (AUS) v [WC] Stuart Parker (GBR)
Gentlemen’s qualifying singles, first round, Stadium Court, first match (from 8pm AEST)
With three ATP Challenger finals appearances so far in 2023, Duckworth is verging on a top-100 return. The 31-year-old, whose ranking peaked at world No.46 in late 2022, is contesting Wimbledon qualifying for the sixth time and aiming to qualify for the third time (he previously qualified in 2013 and 2014). World No.109 Duckworth, whose best Wimbledon result is a third-round run in 2021, begins his campaign against a 25-year-old British wildcard. World No.425 Parker won a play-off last week to earn his place in the qualifying draw.
Head-to-head record: First meeting

[2] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v Leandro Riedi (SUI)
Gentlemen’s qualifying singles, first round, Court 10, second match
Kokkinakis charged back into the world’s top 100 following a thrilling third-round run at Roland Garros last month. But as this happened after the Wimbledon entry deadline cut-off, the 27-year-old Australian needs to qualify to earn a main-draw spot. The world No.89, who made the second round in a career-best run at the All England Club last year, is the No.2 seed in the draw. His first-round opponent is world No.165 Riedi. The 21-year-old Swiss player is contesting only his second professional grass-court tournament.
Head-to-head record: First meeting

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2023 gentlemen’s qualifying singles draw

[9] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Alex Bolt (AUS)
Gentlemen’s qualifying singles, first round, Court 14, fourth match
World No.113 Hijikata meets world No.342 Bolt in an all-Australian first-round showdown. The 22-year-old Hijikata has been a standout performer during the grass-court season, winning seven of his 11 matches. This included a maiden semifinal run at a tour-level event in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Hijikata advanced to the final round in his Wimbledon qualifying debut last year. The 30-year-old Bolt has qualified at Wimbledon once before (in 2018) and has won seven of his nine career qualifying matches at the tournament. Bolt, who was sidelined for six months last year after undergoing elbow surgery, is using a protected ranking of No.203 to compete.
Head-to-head record: First meeting

Marc Polmans (AUS) v [19] Andrea Vavassori (ITA)
Gentlemen’s qualifying singles, first round, Court 16, fourth match
The resurgent Polmans has almost halved his ranking this season. After beginning the year at world No.334, he now sits at world No.175. It is a promising return for Polmans, who underwent ankle surgery last year and was sidelined for six months. The last time the 26-year-old competed at Wimbledon in 2021, he qualified and then reached the second round. Polmans begins his 2023 qualifying quest against world No.128 Vavassori, a 28-year-old Italian who is aiming to qualify at Wimbledon for the second year in a row.
Head-to-head record: First meeting

>VIEW: Wimbledon 2023 qualifying day one schedule

Eight Australians have received direct acceptance into the Wimbledon 2023 gentlemen’s singles competition, led by world No.16 Alex de Minaur and 2022 finalist Nick Kyrgios.

Max Purcell, Chris O’Connell, Jordan Thompson, Aleksandar Vukic, Alexei Popyrin and Jason Kubler will also contest the main draw.

The Wimbledon ladies’ qualifying singles competition, which features six Australian women, begins tomorrow.

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