Melbourne, Australia, 10 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Three Aussie teens have progressed to the second round in the Australian Open women’s qualifying singles competition for the first time since 1999.

Maya Joint, a 17-year-old wildcard, is the latest local contender to advance, after scoring a hard-fought 6-3 1-6 7-5 victory against Serbian Natalija Stevanovic in first-round action today at Melbourne Park.

Stevanovic is nearly 12 years older and ranked almost 400 places higher at world No.185.

“It was a battle,” Joint said of the two-hour and 13-minute encounter.

“I wasn’t really used to her game style. She hits a lot of slice and drop shots. My game is usually more attacking. I’m an aggressive baseliner so I had to change my game style a bit to figure out what to do.”

Joint, who still managed to strike 24 winners to 11, also had to battle her own nerves in a Grand Slam-level debut.

“I was very nervous,” said the world No.573, who was facing a top-200 opponent for only the fourth time in her young career.

“I was kind of shaking on the first couple of shots. I really wanted to do well.

“I’m so grateful that I got a wildcard and so happy I could win a match.”

This is Joint’s first Australian Open experience too, having never previously even attended the tournament as a fan.

“I’m so, so, so grateful to be here,” she said. “It’s so fun.”

Joint is currently ranked world No.25 in the ITF junior rankings and trains at Tennis Australia’s National Tennis Academy in Brisbane.

She joins her fellow academy members, 19-year-old Talia Gibson and 18-year-old Melisa Ercan, in the second round of the women’s qualifying singles draw.

“I’m so happy for them,” Joint said. “I’m glad we can all keep going.”

Storm Hunter and Maddison Inglis also scored wins today, boosting the number of Australian women progressing to the second round to nine. This is the most to reach this stage in 36 years.

> READ: Aussie women rewriting history in Australian Open qualifying

Tickets to attend Australian Open qualifying are just $5 for kids and $10 for adults. Fans will also be able to see some of the world’s top-ranked players compete in practice matches at Melbourne Park.

> BUY NOW: Australian Open 2024 tickets

Aussies in action – Australian Open

Women’s qualifying singles, first round
Storm Hunter (AUS) d Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-3 6-2
[WC] Maya Joint (AUS) d Natalija Stevanovic (SRB) 6-3 1-6 7-5
[WC] Maddison Inglis (AUS) d [14] Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP) 4-6 6-3 7-5
[19] Hailey Baptiste (USA) d [WC] Seone Mendez (AUS) 6-3 6-1

Women’s qualifying singles, second round
Priscilla Hon (AUS) d [29] Dalma Galfi (HUN) 4-6 6-3 6-4
Maria Timofeeva d [16] Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-2 6-4

Women’s qualifying singles, second round
Destanee Aiava (AUS) v [20] Jil Teichmann (SUI)
Storm Hunter (AUS) v [30] Celine Naef (SUI)
[WC] Talia Gibson (AUS) v [10] Brenda Fruhvirtova (CZE)
[WC] Ivana Popovic (AUS) v [11] Anna Bondar (HUN)
[WC] Maya Joint (AUS) v [32] Darja Semenistaja (LAT)
[WC] Maddison Inglis (AUS) v Katarina Zavatska (UKR)
[WC] Melisa Ercan (AUS) v Wei Sijia (CHN)

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
Priscilla Hon (AUS) v Maria Timofeeva

> VIEW: Full Australian Open 2023 women’s qualifying singles draw

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