Tomljanovic leads Aussie charge on day one at US Open 2023
Ajla Tomljanovic is among seven Australians scheduled to compete on day one at US Open 2023.
Seven Australians are scheduled to compete on the opening day at US Open 2023.
This includes the highly anticipated return of Ajla Tomljanovic. The Aussie favourite underwent knee surgery in January and is yet to play a competitive match this season.
Tomljanovic faces Hungarian Panna Udvardy, a 24-year-old ranked No.122, in her comeback match.
“It just feels great that I’m not missing the last Slam of the year,” Tomljanovic told Stan Sport. “It’s been painful for me to watch them pass me by this year. I’ve worked really hard to get back.
“I don’t know what to expect, but that’s also the beauty of starting again after a long injury.”
The 30-year-old Tomljanovic enjoyed a career-best run at Flushing Meadows last year, beating the legendary Serena Williams in a headline-making quarterfinal appearance.
Daria Saville begins her campaign against American wildcard Clervie Ngounoue, the reigning Wimbledon girls’ singles champion, while Storm Hunter faces a showdown with world No.10 Karolina Muchova.
“It’s going to be a really tough challenge, but I’m going to go out and play my game,” Hunter said.
World No.139 Olivia Gadecki and world No.111 Kimberly Birrell are also set to make their US Open main-draw debuts.
“I’m really happy to be here at my first US Open and qualifying is a dream come true,” Gadecki said ahead of a first-round meeting with Russian teen Mirra Andreeva.
“I’m going to out there and give it my all.”
The 25-year-old Birrell received a lucky-loser spot in the draw and faces Australian Open 2021 finalist Jennifer Brady in the first round.
Alexei Popyrin, Australia’s No.2-ranked man, begins his singles campaign against Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker.
It is a rematch of their first-round meeting at Wimbledon earlier this year, which world No.128 Stricker won in five sets.
Yet since that loss, world No.41 Popyrin has won eight of his past 10 matches. This includes a title-winning run at Umag last month.
“I’m feeling really, really good on court,” Popyrin said. “I feel like I’m much more consistent on court and making less errors, I’m returning better.”
Rinky Hijikata is feeling excited ahead of his first-round clash against Russian Pavel Kotov too.
“I love playing here in New York,” Hijikata said. “I’m looking forward to going out there and giving it everything I have.”
The US Open is broadcast in Australia on the Nine Network and Stan Sport, with coverage starting from 1am AEST.
Aussies in action on day one:
Women’s singles, first round
Daria Saville (AUS) v [WC] Clervie Ngounoue (USA), Court 11, first match (from 1am AEST)
[WC] Storm Hunter (AUS) v  Karolina Muchova (CZE), Court 12, first match (from 1am AEST)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v Panna Udvardy (HUN), Court 4, third match
[LL] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v Jennifer Brady (USA), Court 5, third match
[Q] Olivia Gadecki (AUS) v Mirra Andreeva, Court 15, fourth match
Men’s singles, first round
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [Q] Dominic Stricker (SUI), Court 14, fourth match
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS ) v Pavel Kotov, Court 15, second match
Book online, play today: Visit play.tennis.com.au to get out on court and have some fun!