Brisbane, Australia , 3 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

James Duckworth has endured many challenges throughout his professional career.

There’s been nine surgery setbacks, with elbow, foot, shoulder and hip issues forcing the 31-year-old Australian onto the sidelines and into countless hours of rehabilitation.

Many of those painful and lonely hours of rehab have been spent at the Queensland Tennis Centre, where Duckworth has trained for the past 10 years.

This summer, however, the world No.116 is only creating happy memories at the venue.

After winning two qualifying rounds to earn his spot in this year’s Brisbane International men’s singles draw, Duckworth has posted back-to-back top-60 wins to progress to the quarterfinals at the tournament for the first time in nine years.

Duckworth’s resilience was on show in a second-round encounter with world No.51 Yannick Hanfmann today, where he saved two match points in a thrilling 4-6 6-1 7-6(2) victory.

He described the atmosphere at Show Court 1 as “awesome” and credited the hometown support for “helping get him through”.

Also boosted by 22 aces throughout the two-hour and 25-minute battle, this effort propels Duckworth into this first ATP-level quarterfinal since September 2022.

He next plays either world No.8 Holger Rune of Denmark, the tournament’s top seed, or world No.48 Alexander Shevchenko for a place in the semifinals.

Alexei Popyrin’s campaign ended in heartbreak after squandering five match points in his loss to world No.39 Roman Safiullin.

After trailing 2-5 in the deciding set, Safiullin fought back to triumph 6-7(9) 6-4 7-6(3) in a see-sawing encounter that lasted almost three hours.

In the men’s doubles competition, the all-Australian combination of Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson have advanced to the quarterfinals.

Purcell and Thompson scored a 6-3 6-3 win against the fifth seeds, world No.43 Nikola Mektic of Croatia and world No.15 Hugo Nys of Monaco, to set-up a final-eight clash with Australian John-Patrick Smith and German Andreas Mies.

Smith and Mies eliminated the reigning Australian Open champions, Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler, in the second round.

After bowing out of the women’s singles competition in a three-set battle against 11th seed Anastasia Potapova, Daria Saville bounced back quickly to progress to the doubles quarterfinals alongside Daria Kasatkina.

Potapova awaits, again, in the next round with her partner Yana Sizikova.

Aussies in action – Brisbane International

Men’s singles, second round
[Q] James Duckworth (AUS) d Yannick Hanfmann (GER) 4-6 6-1 7-6(2)
Roman Safiullin d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-7(9) 6-4 7-6(3)

Women’s singles, second round
[2] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) d [Q] Olivia Gadecki (AUS) 6-4 6-1
[11] Anastasia Potapova d [WC] Daria Saville (AUS) 6-4 3-6 6-4

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

Men’s doubles, second round
Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) d [5] Nikola Mektic (CRO)/Hugo Nys (MON) 6-3 6-3
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) d [4] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) 6-4 6-3
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)/Sebastian Korda (USA) d [6] John Peers (AUS)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN) 4-6 6-3 [10-3]

Women’s doubles, second round
[WC] Daria Saville (AUS)/Daria Kasatkina d [2] Chan Hao-Ching (TPE)/Giuliana Olmos (MEX) 7-6(5) 6-7(4) [11-9]

Men’s singles, second round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [4] Ugo Humbert (FRA)
[WC] Jason Kubler (AUS) v [WC] Rafael Nadal (ESP)
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v [Q] Tomas Machac (CZE)

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[Q] James Duckworth (AUS) v TBC

> VIEW: Brisbane International 2024 men’s singles draw

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

> VIEW: Brisbane International 2024 women’s singles draw

Men’s doubles, second round 
[WC] James Duckworth (AUS)/Chris O’Connell (AUS) v [1] Kevin Krawietz (GER)/Tim Puetz (GER)

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER)

Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
[WC] Daria Saville (AUS)/Daria Kasatkina v Anastasia Potapova/Yana Sizikova

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