Melbourne, Australia, 11 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

For the first time in Melbourne Park’s 36-year history, five Aussies have advanced to the final round in the Australian Open women’s qualifying singles competition.

Among them is Destanee Aiava, who recovered from a precarious position today in her second-round clash with Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann to keep her campaign alive.

Trailing 2-6 3-5 against the former world No.21, Aiava dug deep.

“I’ve worked so hard and obviously I want to make it through to main draw,” the 23-year-old Aussie said.

“Being a home Slam it’s obviously very important to me and I love this tournament, it’s my favourite one. All my family and friends came to support me today, but I think I wanted to get through for myself.”

The world No.210’s determination showed as she reeled off 11 of the next 12 games to secure a sensational 2-6 7-5 6-1 victory.

It is Aiava’s second top-150 win this week and propels her into a final-round clash with world No.98 Renata Zarazua.

This is Aiava’s best result in a Grand Slam qualifying draw since reaching the same stage at Australian Open 2020.

Storm Hunter produced a spirited performance of her own to beat against another Swiss player, world No.137 Celine Naef.

“It was really tough. I was down in both sets and really had to fight,” World No.179 Hunter said after notching a 6-3 7-6(4) win.

“I’ve never made final round of qualies here at Melbourne Park, so I’m super excited.”

This effort extends the world No.1 doubles player’s winning streak in Grand Slam qualifying singles matches to eight and sets up a final-round meeting with Czech teen Dominika Salkova.

“It would be a dream come true,” the 29-year-old said of potentially qualifying at her home Grand Slam.

“I’ve been lucky enough to get wildcards in the past, but to qualify would be incredible. I’m playing good tennis in doubles and trying to do that in singles too.

“My parents fly in on Sunday so I kind of have to qualify. It’s a bit of a goal for me if I want them to watch me play singles.”

A resurgent Maddison Inglis continued her winning run with a 7-6(3) 6-3 victory against Ukrainian Katarina Zavatska.

The 25-year-old is aiming to qualify at major tournament for the first time since Wimbledon 2022.

While earlier today, 17-year-old wildcard Maya Joint eliminated No.32 seed Darja Semenistaja to extend her dream debut at Grand Slam level.

> READ: Joint living out teenage dream in AO 2024 qualifying

The previous record for most Aussie women to progress to the final round in an Australian Open qualifying draw at Melbourne Park was three, achieved way back in 1992.

Tickets to attend Australian Open qualifying, which concludes tomorrow, 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, second round
Destanee Aiava (AUS) d [20] Jil Teichmann (SUI) 2-6 7-5 6-1
Storm Hunter (AUS) d [30] Celine Naef (SUI) 6-3 7-6(4)
[WC] Maya Joint (AUS) d [32] Darja Semenistaja (LAT) 6-1 7-6(4)
[WC] Maddison Inglis (AUS) d Katarina Zavatska (UKR) 7-6(3) 6-3
[10] Brenda Fruhvirtova (CZE) d [WC] Talia Gibson (AUS) 1-6 6-3 7-5
[11] Anna Bondar (HUN) d [WC] Ivana Popovic (AUS) 6-4 6-4
Wei Sijia (CHN) d [WC] Melisa Ercan (AUS) walkover

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
Priscilla Hon (AUS) v Maria Timofeeva
Storm Hunter (AUS) v Dominika Salkova (CZE)
Destanee Aiava (AUS) v [2] Renata Zarazua (MEX)
[WC] Maya Joint (AUS) v [1] Dayana Yastremska (UKR)
[WC] Maddison Inglis (AUS) v [24] Daria Snigur (UKR) 

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

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