Melbourme, Australia, 14 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

For the first time in 29 years, there are two all-Australian match-ups in the opening round of the Australian Open men’s singles draw.

World No.47 Jordan Thompson and world No.63 Aleksandar Vukic will clash on Court 3 this afternoon, while world No.43 Alexei Popyrin meets world No.156 Marc Polmans at John Cain Arena.

“We’ve got so many Aussies now in the draw, at least some of us are bound to play each other,” Popyrin said.

Popyrin describes the 26-year-old Polmans, who he teamed with to reach the second round in the Australian Open men’s doubles competition last summer, as “a good friend”.

“Marcy is a really tough player to play,” Popyrin said.

“When match day comes we’re enemies, but after that we’re friends again.”

It marks the second-time that Sydneysiders Thompson and Vukic will meet this year, having also drawn each other in the opening round at the Brisbane International.

Rinky Hijikata, James Duckworth and Omar Jasika are also scheduled to play first-round matches, before Alex de Minaur headlines the evening session at Rod Laver Arena.

De Minaur, the first Aussie top-10 seed in an Australian Open men’s singles draw in 18 years, takes on former world No.3 Milos Raonic.

“So far 2024 has been very nice to me,” the new top-10 star said.

“Hopefully I can keep it going and play some more good tennis at the Australian Open.

“(Raonic is) a very tricky opponent, the type of person that can take the racquet out of your hand. Obviously he has an unbelievable serve and is very aggressive.

“It’s a tough match, but I’m excited to play. I’m playing some good tennis. I’ll be ready for the challenge.”

> BUY NOW: Australian Open 2024 tickets

Storm Hunter is making history of her own, becoming the first reigning world No.1 in doubles to qualify in singles at a Grand Slam tournament in 18 years.

The 29-year-old Aussie will look to continue her winning run against Italian veteran Sara Errani, a former world No.5 in singles and world No.1 in doubles, at Kia Arena this morning.

Wildcards Taylah Preston and Daria Saville also begin their Australian Open 2024 campaigns today.

> READ: Preston ready to step into the spotlight

For those who can’t make it to Melbourne Park, the tournament is broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network and Stan Sport. Play begins from 11am AEDT.

Aussies in action on day two:

Women’s singles, first round
[Q] Storm Hunter (AUS) v Sara Errani (ITA), Kia Arena, first match (from 11am AEDT)
[WC] Taylah Preston (AUS) v [19] Elina Svitolina (UKR), 1573 Arena, first match (from 11am AEDT)
[WC] Daria Saville (AUS) v Magdalena Frech (POL), John Cain Arena, third match

Men’s singles, first round
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [WC] Marc Polmans (AUS), John Cain Arena, second match
[WC] James Duckworth (AUS) v Luca Van Assche (FRA), Court 6, second match
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Aleksandar Vukic (AUS), Court 3, third match
Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v [24] Jan-Lennard Struff (GER), Court 3, fourth match
[Q] Omar Jasika (AUS) v [9] Hubert Hurkacz (POL), John Cain Arena, fourth match (from 5pm AEDT)
[10] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Milos Raonic (CAN), Rod Laver Arena, night session, first match (from 7pm AEDT)

> VIEW: Australian Open 2024 day two schedule

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