London, Great Britain, 3 July 2023 | Leigh Rogers

On the eve of his Wimbledon debut, Aleksandar Vukic predicted “it’s going to be a fun week”.

The 27-year-old Australian was thrilled to be making his main-draw debut at the grass-court Grand Slam, a reward for an incredible rise up the rankings this year.

From outside the world’s top 200 in February, Vukic now sits at a career-high world No.87.

He qualified at five tour-level events in the opening half of the season and also contested three ATP Challenger finals. His toil paid off, providing direct acceptance at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career.

In his only previous visit to Wimbledon in 2021, Vukic lost in the opening round of qualifying, which is played off-site at Roehampton.

“It’s very exciting. It’s my first time at the main-draw site. I’m still trying to figure out where everything is,” Vukic admitted.

“It’s pretty surreal. I also have my family and a few my mates here, so it’s going to be a fun week.”

Vukic made sure his stay extends beyond the opening day too, posting an impressive 6-3 7-6(1) 3-6 7-5 victory against world No.66 Daniel Altmaier.

He fired 11 aces and struck 37 winners in their two-hour and 36-minute first-round encounter at Court 9.

Altmaier served to level the match at two-sets apiece, but Vukic managed to reel off three consecutive games to secure victory.

“The crowd really helped,” Vukic said. “I found myself a little flatter towards the end. I didn’t really sleep well last night … and my eyes started feeling it towards the latter stage of the match.

“It got a little dark as well. So I honestly tried to use the crowd because they were up for it.”

This is Vukic’s second career Grand Slam main-draw victory and his first since reaching the second round at Australian Open 2022 as a wildcard.

He described this victory as “very special”, noting it meant a lot to have his family and friends courtside.

“This sport is individual, but without them, I wouldn’t be playing,” Vukic said.

“There were moments where I doubted whether I could do it and it’s more special to share these type of moments with those who are there with you day-to-day.”

Vukic is the second Australian through to the round of 64 at this year’s championships, joining Jordan Thompson who won a five-set thriller on the same court earlier in the day.

The fun is set to continue for Vukic, who will face either No.27 seed and British hope Dan Evans or France’s Quentin Halys in the second round.

World No.79 Halys was leading by two sets when their match was postponed until tomorrow.

> PREVIEW: Five Australians in action on day two at Wimbledon 2023

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Gentlemen’s singles, first round
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d Daniel Altmaier (GER) 6-3 7-6(1) 3-6 7-5
Jordan Thompson (AUS) d Brandon Nakashima (USA) 2-6 2-6 6-4 7-6(4) 6-3
[7] Andrey Rublev d Max Purcell (AUS) 6-3 7-5 6-4

Ladies’ singles, first round
Wang Xinyu (CHN) d [Q] Storm Hunter (AUS) 6-3 6-1

Gentlemen’s singles, first round
[15] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [Q] Kimmer Coppejans (BEL)
Jason Kubler (AUS) v Ugo Humbert (FRA)
Chris O’Connell (AUS)
v [Q] Hamad Medjedovic (SRB)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [Q] Dominic Stricker (SUI)

Ladies’ singles, first round
Daria Saville (AUS) v [WC] Katie Boulter (GBR)

Gentlemen’s singles, second round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [2] Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v TBC

> READ: Doubles draws revealed for Wimbledon 2023

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