Australia, 7 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

It has been a memorable start to the 2024 season for Australia’s leading players.

Alex de Minaur is set to climb into the world’s top 10 after his heroics at the United Cup, while several other Aussies posted career-best results to make an encouraging start to the new year.

This week’s most outstanding performers include:

Alex de Minaur: The 24-year-old scored three top-10 wins to lead Australia into the United Cup semifinals. This included a stunning upset of Novak Djokovic to become the first Australian man to defeat the world No.1 on home soil in 28 years.

Storm Hunter and Matt Ebden: Teaming up for the first time, world No.1 Hunter and world No.4 Ebden won three of their four mixed doubles matches to help Australia progress to the United Cup semifinals.

Jordan Thompson: The 29-year-old sensationally saved three match points before eliminating former world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the Brisbane International quarterfinals. This propelled Thompson into his first ATP singles semifinal on hard courts.

Rinky Hijikata: The 22-year-old was a singles quarterfinalist at the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane. This was Hijikata’s second career ATP quarterfinal appearance and first on home soil.

James Duckworth: The 31-year-old defeated three higher-ranked opponents to advance to the singles quarterfinals as a qualifier at the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane. This was Duckworth’s best result at the event in nine years.

Jordan Thompson and Max Purcell: The all-Aussie duo scored several impressive wins during their march into the doubles semifinals at the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane.

Arina Rodionova: The 34-year-old posted back-to-back top-50 wins for the first time in her career to reach the third round at the WTA 500 tournament in Brisbane. This was Rodionova’s best WTA-level result since 2017.

> READ: Arina Rodionova – “I think I surprised a lot of people”

Daria Saville: The 29-year-old recorded her first WTA main-draw win on Australian soil since February 2021, progressing to the second round at the Brisbane International. Saville was also a doubles semifinalist alongside Daria Kasatkina.

Olivia Gadecki: The 21-year-old qualified at a WTA 500 tournament for the first time, then beat fellow Queenslander Kimberly Birrell to progress to the second round at the Brisbane International.

Talia Gibson: The 19-year-old scored a milestone victory, against world No.146 Leolia Jeanjean, in the singles qualifying competition in Brisbane. It was Gibson’s first win at WTA level and second against a top-150 opponent.

> READ: Leading Aussie teens among Australian Open 2024 qualifying wildcards

Li Tu: The 27-year-old notched his second career top-100 win, beating world No.93 Daniel Elahi Galan, to qualify at the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane. This was the second time that Li has qualified at an ATP-level tournament.

Calum Puttergill: The 30-year-old was a doubles finalist at an ATP Challenger in Noumea (New Caledonia) alongside Japan’s Toshihide Matsui.

Thomas Fancutt: The 28-year-old progressed to the doubles semifinals at the ATP Challenger in Noumea with New Zealand’s Ajeet Rai.

Tristan Schoolkate: The 22-year-old defeated world No.105 Michael Mmoh during a singles quarterfinal run at the Canberra International, an ATP Challenger event.

Pavle Marinkov: The 17-year-old scored a career-best win, beating world No.118 Luca Nardi, to reach the singles second round at the ATP Challenger in Canberra.

Casey Hoole: The 20-year-old wildcard qualified at an ATP Challenger tournament for the first time, securing his spot in the Canberra International draw with a career-best win against world No.222 Timofey Skatov in the final qualifying round.

Maya Joint: As a wildcard at the Canberra International, the 17-year-old progressed to her first singles quarterfinal at WTA 125 level. Joint scored wins against two top-200 opponents, including former world No.5 Sara Errani.

Kaylah McPhee: The world No.431 defeated two top-200 players to qualify at the WTA 125 tournament in Canberra. The 25-year-old then scored a career-best win against world No.101 Renata Zarazua to reach the second round.

Taylah Preston: The 18-year-old won her first match at WTA 125 level, then extended world No.93 Nao Hibino to three sets in the second round at the Canberra International.

Kaylah McPhee and Astra Sharma: The 25-year-old McPhee and 28-year-old Sharma finished runners-up in the women’s doubles competition at the WTA 125 tournament in Canberra.

Alana Parnaby and Ivana Popovic: The 29-year-old Parnaby and 23-year-old Popovic made the doubles semifinals at the Canberra International.

> READ: Winners crowned at 2024 Australian Grasscourt Championships

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