Brisbane, Austraila, 5 January 2024 | Vivienne Christie

Quarterfinal meetings with the tournament top seeds were always going to be daunting assignments for James Duckworth and Rinky Hijikata at the Brisbane International – but each Australian man could hold his head high after some impressive form at the event.

Duckworth, who saved match points in his successful qualifying campaign in the Queensland capital, exited to No.1 seed Holger Rune on Friday.

The Danish youngster was too strong for Duckworth in the opening set, winning five unanswered games to close out the set..

Duckworth clawed his way back in the second set, attacking the net. He managed to keep up with Rune, as neither player gave up a break point opportunity.

The Australian saved two match points in the tiebreak, but the power of Rune proved too much for the 31-year-old.

A powerful cross-court forehand winner, followed by a strong serve out wide, saw the Dane advance to his first semifinal on Australian soil with a 6-2 7-6(6) win.

Hijikata’s best singles campaign on home soil ended with a straight-sets loss to Grigor Dimitrov.

While he was unable to match the resurgent world No.14 in the 29-minute first set, Hijikata made the No.2 seed work hard in a more competitive second set.

Dimitrov eventually claimed his 6-1 6-4 win in an hour and 19 minutes, setting a semifinal showdown with Rafael Nadal.

Duckworth and Hijikata each achieved rankings gains with their Brisbane progress – Duckworth re-entered the worlds’ top 100 after progressing through qualifying. Hijikata sits at No.70 in the live rankings, returned to a previous career high.

Aussies in action – Brisbane International

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[1] Holger Rune (DEN) d [Q] James Duckworth (AUS) 6-2 7-6(6)
[2] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) d [WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)  6-1 6-4

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

Women’s doubles, semifinals
Lyudmula Kichenok (UKR) /Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) d [WC] Daria Saville (AUS)/Daria Kasatkina w/o

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [WC] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Men’s doubles semifinals
Jordan Thompson (AUS))/Max Purcell (AUS) v [1] Kevin Krawietz (GER)/Tim Puetz (GER)