A record number of Australian men to compete at Shanghai Masters
Alex de Minaur, Max Purcell and Aleksandar Vukic lead a strong Aussie contingent at this week's ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Shanghai.
The incredible depth in Australian men’s tennis is evident at this week’s Shanghai Masters, where an unprecedented 11 Aussies feature in the singles main draw.
This is the highest-ever representation of Australians in the singles main draw at an ATP Masters 1000 event.
The ATP Masters 1000s are a series of tournaments that were introduced in 1990 and are considered the tour’s biggest events outside of the four Grand Slams.
World No.12 Alex de Minaur leads the Aussie charge in Shanghai this week, receiving direct acceptance alongside compatriots Max Purcell, Alexei Popyrin, Aleksandar Vukic, Chris O’Connell, Jordan Thompson and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
A further four Australians – Rinky Hijikata, James Duckworth, Dane Sweeny and Philip Sekulic – earned their place through qualifying.
It marks the first time that 22-year-old Sweeny and 20-year-old Sekulic have qualified at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament.
“Tennis in Australia is going really well right now,” Duckworth said beating compatriot 20-year-old James McCabe in the final qualifying round.
“There’s so many in the draw, so it’s probably a good chance you’re playing one of them at some stage. But I think we all do a pretty good job of just sort of putting that behind us and going out there and competing.
“Then we get around each other, you know, off-court and it’s a good camaraderie.”
The previous record for number of Australians in an ATP Masters 1000 singles main draw was eight.
This was last achieved in 1999, when Pat Rafter, Mark Philippoussis, Jason Stoltenberg, Scott Draper, Andrew Ilie, Lleyton Hewitt, Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde all competed in Miami.
The Australian men are also setting a new tournament record in Shanghai, where their previous highest representation was three (set in 2018 with De Minaur, Nick Kyrgios and Matt Ebden).
The total number of Australian men competing at this year’s tournament, including doubles and qualifying, is 19.
AUSSIES IN ACTION – Shanghai
Men’s qualifying singles, final round
 Rinky Hijikata (AUS) d Benjamin Lock (ZIM) 6-1 6-4
 James Duckworth (AUS) d  James McCabe (AUS) 7-6(6) 6-2
 Dane Sweeny (AUS) d  Seongchan Hong (KOR) 6-2 6-1
Philip Sekulic (AUS) d Arthur Weber (FRA) 6-4 6-3
 Aleksandar Kovacevic (USA) d  Li Tu (AUS) 6-2 6-7(8) 7-5
 Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) d Luke Saville (AUS) 6-3 6-3
 Stefano Napolitano (ITA) d  Marc Polmans (AUS) 6-7(3) 6-6 def.
Men’s singles, first round
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Bye
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [Q] Terence Atmane (FRA)
Chris O’Connell (AUS) v Botic van de Zandschulp (NED)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Matteo Arnaldi (ITA)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v [WC] Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Max Purcell (AUS) v [Q] Hsu Yu-Hsiou (TPE)
[Q] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Laslo Djere (SRB)
[Q] James Duckworth (AUS) v Yannick Hanfmann (GER)
[Q] Dane Sweeny (AUS) v Taro Daniel (JPN)
[Q] Philip Sekulic (AUS) v Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)
Men’s doubles, first round
 Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Matwe Middelkoop (NED)/Andrea Mies (GER)
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) v  Ivan Dodig (CRO)/Austin Krajicek (USA)
Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Cameron Norrie (GBR) v Hubert Hurkacz (POL)/Ben Shelton (USA)
John Peers (AUS)/Nikola Mektic (CRO) v Kevin Krawietz (GER)/Tim Puetz (GER)
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