Los Cabos, Mexico, 21 February 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Rinky Hijikata has made an impressive start to his campaign at an ATP 250 tournament in Los Cabos, recording a straight-sets win against sixth seed Miomir Kecmanovic in the opening round.

The 22-year-old Australian posted a 6-3 7-6(2) victory against the Serbian, who is ranked 25 places higher at world No.54.

It is Hijikata’s fifth career win against a top-60 player and sets up a second-round clash with American Aleksandar Kovacevic.

Hijikata has fond memories at the Mexican hard-court event, having scored his first tour-level main-draw win at the tournament as a qualifier in 2022.

Jordan Thompson is also through to the second round, continuing his good form with a 6-4 6-3 triumph against Mexican wildcard Ernesto Escobedo.

Thompson has recorded nine ATP main-draw wins already in 2024.

“I’ve played a lot of matches and I’m match fit at the moment,” the 29-year-old said after dismissing Escobedo in 104 minutes.

“Why not keep it rolling.”

Thompson’s efforts have been rewarded in the rankings, breaking into the world’s top 40 for the first time this week.

Aleksandar Vukic boosted the number of Aussie contenders through to the second round to six, after surviving a spirited test from Mexican wildcard Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez.

Vukic recorded a 7-6(5) 7-6(10) victory after saving six set points in a high-pressure second set.

This is the 27-year-old’s first win of the season and sets up a second-round clash with world No.11 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“It will be a challenge, but one that I’m looking forward too,” world No.72 Vukic said.

“I’ve always wanted to play him. He’s one of the best players in the world.”

Aussies in action – Los Cabos

Men’s singles, first round
[8] Jordan Thompson (AUS) d [WC] Ernesto Escobedo (MEX) 6-4 6-3
Rinky Hijikata (AUS) d [6] Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-3 7-6(2)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d [WC] Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez (MEX) 7-6(5) 7-6(10)

Men’s doubles, first round
[4] Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) d Petros Tsitsipas (GRE)/Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-4 6-3
Guido Andreozzi (ARG)/Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela (MEX) d [3] John Peers (AUS)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN) 1-6 7-6(6) [11-9]

Men’s singles, second round
[3] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Alex Michelsen (USA)
[7] Max Purcell (AUS) v Nuno Borges (POR)
[8] Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [Q] Emilio Nava (USA)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v [2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)
Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Aleksandar Kovacevic (USA)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v Dan Evans (GBR)

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
[4] Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Nuno Borges (POR)/Andre Goransson (SWE)

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