Brisbane, Australia, 2 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Life is pretty good for James Duckworth right now.

As well as being newly married, the 31-year-old Australian has won three consecutive straight-set matches to reach the Brisbane International second round as a qualifier.

Duckworth also scored his biggest win, ranking-wise, in more than two years today, beating world No.53 J.J. Wolf in first-round action at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

“I’m really happy, I played a great match,” Duckworth said after dismissing the higher-ranked American in 63 minutes.

“It’s great playing at home. I have been living in Brisbane for 10 years now and practice here, so I’m really comfortable with the conditions. I had great support too.”

Duckworth’s impressive form is not surprising. He finished the 2023 season exceptionally well, claiming back-to-back ATP Challenger titles for the first time and winning 16 of his final 19 matches.

He then married long-time partner, Madi, in early December.

“It was a great offseason. I got married then went on a honeymoon (to Queenstown in New Zealand),” Duckworth related.

“I haven’t really been on a holiday for a few years now, so it was nice to really reset and then come back and get stuck into training.”

Duckworth hopes to carry this encouraging momentum into his next match, a second-round showdown with world No.51 Yannick Hanfmann.

“I feel like I’ve been playing well,” said the world No.116, who is aiming to progress to the quarterfinals at his home tournament for the first time since 2015.

“I finished the year strong, had a good training block and hopefully I can continue that form and continue pushing up the rankings.”

Rinky Hijikata made a memorable Brisbane International debut, scoring a 7-6(8) 6-2 victory over fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Jordan Thompson is also through to the second round, after triumphing 6-3 6-2 in an all-Australian battle against Aleksandar Vukic, while wildcard Jason Kubler progressed when eighth seed Aslan Karatsev suffered a knee injury early in the third set of their first-round match.

Aussies in action – Brisbane International

Men’s singles, first round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) 6-3 6-2
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 7-6(8) 6-2
[Q] James Duckworth (AUS) 
d J.J. Wolf (USA) 6-3 6-4
[WC] Jason Kubler (AUS) d [8] Aslan Karatsev 6-4 6-7(4) ret.
Daniel Altmaier (GER) d [Q] Li Tu (AUS) 7-6(5) 7-6(4)

Women’s singles, first round
[Q] Olivia Gadecki (AUS) [WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) 4-6 6-0 6-4

Women’s singles, second round
[WC] Arina Rodionova (AUS) d [14] Sofia Kenin (USA) 7-5 7-6(7)

> READ: Rodionova upsets former Australian Open champion in Brisbane

Men’s doubles, first round 
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) d [Alt] Sebastian Baez (ARG)/Francisco Comesana (ARG) 6-4 7-6(6)

Men’s singles, second round
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Roman Safiullin
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v TBC
[Q] James Duckworth (AUS) v Yannick Hanfmann (GER)
[WC] Jason Kubler (AUS) v [WC] Rafael Nadal (ESP)
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v [Q] Tomas Machac (CZE)

> VIEW: Brisbane International 2024 men’s singles draw

Women’s singles, second round
[Q] Olivia Gadecki (AUS) v [2] Elena Rybakina (KAZ)
[WC] Daria Saville (AUS) 
v [11] Anastasia Potapova

Women’s singles, third round
[WC] Arina Rodionova (AUS) v TBC

> VIEW: Brisbane International 2024 women’s singles draw

Men’s doubles, first round 
[WC] James Duckworth (AUS)/Chris O’Connell (AUS) v Matteo Arnaldi (ITA)/Tomas Martin Etcheverry (ARG)

Men’s doubles, second round
[4] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER)
[6] John Peers (AUS)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN) v Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)/Sebastian Korda (USA)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [5] Nikola Mektic (CRO)/Hugo Nys (MON)

Women’s doubles, second round
[WC] Daria Saville (AUS)/Daria Kasatkina v [2] Chan Hao-Ching (TPE)/Giuliana Olmos (MEX)

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