20 September 2023 | Vivienne Christie

Zhuhai , China

Australians are strongly represented at the ATP 250 tournament in Zhuhai, China, with Alex Bolt, Luke Saville, Dane Sweeny and Marc Polmans all completing successful qualifying campaigns.

It ensures that five Australian men will compete in the 28-player main draw, with Rinky Hijikata gaining automatic entry by virtue of his career-high world No.72 ranking.

Hijikata aims to build on a career-best season against Frenchman Alexandre Muller in the opening round, while Sweeny and Polmans face off in an all-Australian encounter.

Aussies in action – Zhuhai 

Men’s singles, final-round qualifying
Alex Bolt (AUS) d [8] Antoine Bellier (SUI) 6-4 7-6(0)
[7] Luke Saville (AUS) d [3] Stefano Napolitano (ITA) 6-3 6-2
[2] Dane Sweeny (AUS) d Dominik Palan (CZE) 4-6 6-3 6-4
[1] Marc Polmans (AUS) d [6] Arthur Weber (FRA) 6-3 6-0

Men’s singles, first round
Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Alexandre Muller (FRA)
[Q] Alex Bolt (AUS) v Diego Schwartzman (ARG)
[Q] Luke Saville (AUS) v Tomas Martin Etcheverry (ARG)
[Q] Marc Polmans (AUS) v [Q] Dane Sweeny (AUS)

Men’s doubles, first round
Andrew Harris (AUS)/Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v [1] Sander Gille (BEL)/Joran Vliegen (BEL)
Luke Saville (AUS)/Aslan Karatsev v [WC] Xin Gao (CHN)/Zhe Li (CHN)

Chengdu, China

Australia’s Philip Sekulic will make his debut in an ATP main draw, as a qualifier at the Chengdu Open in China.

The West Australian overcame No.3 Evgeny Donsky in three sets to set the new career milestone.

Sekulic is one of five Australian men to contest the main draw in Chengdu – Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson (who face each other), as well as Chris O’Connell are yet to contest first-round matches, while Aleksander Vukic exited in the opening round.

The next challenge for 20-year-old Sekulic is against Nuno Borges, a world No.88 from Portugal.

Aussies in action – Chengdu

Men’s singles, final-round qualifying
Philip Sekulic (AUS) d Evgeny Donsky 6-2 4-6 6-2
[1] Pavel Kotov d [5] Omar Jasika (AUS) 6-2 6-2
Alibek Kachmazov d [2] Li Tu (AUS) 6-4 6-2

Men’s singles, first round
Taro Daniel (JPN) d [8] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS)  4-6 6-4 6-2

Men’s singles, first round
[6] Max Purcell (AUS) v Jordan Thompson (AUS)
Christopher O’Connell (AUS) v Alibek Kachmazov
[Q] Philip Sekulic (AUS)  v Nino Borges (POR)

Men’s doubles, first round
Jordan Thompson (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) v Ariel Behar (URU)/Patrik Niklas-Salminen (FIN)
Christopher O’Connell (AUS)/Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v [2] Rafael Matos (BRA)/Francisco Cabral (POR)
John Peers (AUS)/Roman Safiullin v [WC] Aoran Wang (CHN)/Jie Cui (CHN)

Guadalajara, Mexico

Storm Hunter will turn her attention to doubles at the WTA 1000 tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, after bowing out of the singles draw.

After an upset win over Iryna Shymanovich in her opening singles match, the Australian was unable to fend off No.2 seed Maria Sakkari in the second round.

Hunter is aiming to add to an impressive season with victory alongside Belgium’s Elise Mertens.

The 29-year-old West Australian brings confidence from a stellar 2022 doubles campaign in Guadalajara, where she lifted the fifth of her six WTA doubles trophies alongside Brazil’s Luisa Stefani.

Aussies in action – Guadalajara 

Women’s singles, second round
[2] Maria Sakkari (GRE) d  Storm Hunter (AUS) 6-2 6-4

Women’s doubles, first round
Angela Kulikov (USA)/Ingrid Gamarra Martins (BRA) d Anna Rogers (USA)/Olivia Tjandramulia (AUS) 6-3 6-7[3] 11-9

Women’s doubles, second round
[1] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) v Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)

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