Toronto, Canada, 7 August 2023 | Matt Trollope

Toronto, Canada

Thanasi Kokkinakis will play Lorenzo Musetti for a place in the last 16 of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Toronto after beating Zhang Zhizhen in the first round.

Kokkinakis beat the Chinese player, who is ranked 23 places higher at world No.63, in straight sets to set up a showdown with 16th seed Musetti.

Kokkinakis’ 7-5 6-4 win over Zhang was his third straight in Toronto, after winning two matches in the qualifying draw.

He hit 14 aces en route to his 31st match win of 2023, and improves to 6-3 on North American hard courts this summer (at all levels).

On Tuesday, Alex de Minaur and Max Purcell will attempt to join Kokkinakis in the second round, as will Aleksandar Vukic, who entered the main draw as a lucky loser after Grigor Dimitrov’s withdrawal.

Purcell, who like Kokkinakis qualified for the main draw in singles, also began his doubles campaign on a winning note.

Purcell combined with Andrey Rublev to beat Australian Open 2023 finalists Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski.

At the concurrent WTA 1000 tournament in Montreal, Kimberly Birrell will also play on Tuesday; she takes on comeback star Caroline Wozniacki in the Dane’s first match in three-and-a-half years.

Aussies in action – Toronto

Men’s singles, first round
[Q] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) d Zhang Zhizhen (CHN) 7-5 6-4

Men’s doubles, first round
Max Purcell (AUS)/Andrey Rublev d [5] Hugo Nys (MON)/Jan Zielinski (POL) 7-5 6-4
Marcelo Arevalo (ESA)/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) d Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Jannik Sinner (ITA) 4-6 6-3 [10-4]

Men’s singles, first round
Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [11] Cameron Norrie (GBR)
[Q] Max Purcell (AUS) v [10] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN)
[LL] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v [14] Borna Coric (CRO)

Men’s singles, second round
[Q] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) d [16] Lorenzo Musetti (ITA)

Men’s doubles, first round
[4] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Bye
John Peers (AUS)/Marcelo Melo (BRA) v Sander Gille (BEL)/Joran Vliegen (BEL)

Men’s doubles second round
Max Purcell (AUS)/Andrey Rublev v Nathaniel Lammons (USA)/Jackson Withrow (USA)

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