Rome, Italy, 7 May 2024 | Rhys de Deugd

Rising star Taylah Preston has been a shining light for the Australian contingent in the first round of qualifying in Rome, scoring one of the biggest wins of her young career.

The 18-year-old claimed her first tour-level win on clay, as she convincingly defeated Australian Open 2024 fourth-rounder Maria Timofeeva 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 26 minutes.

Competing in Rome for the first time, the Aussie looked at home from the beginning, as she shot out to a 3-0 lead in the opening set against the world No.101.

Preston converted on five of her six break-point opportunities on Timofeeva’s serve, including all three of her chances in the second set, to ensure she set herself up for a strong victory.

It is the Aussie young gun’s first win at WTA 1000 level and continues a very promising start to the season.

In the final stage of qualifying, Preston will take on world No.71 Maria Lourdes Carle for the third time this year.

World No.139 Preston defeated the Argentinian at a WTA 125 event in February.

Aussies in action – Rome

Women’s qualifying singles, first round
Taylah Preston (AUS) d [18] Maria Timofeeva 6-4 6-2
[5] Clara Tauson (DEN) d Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-4 4-6 7-6(2)

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
Terence Atmane (FRA) d [6] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 7-5 7-6(5)

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
Taylah Preston (AUS) v [7] Maria Lourdes Carle (ARG)

Women’s singles, first round
Daria Saville (AUS) v Qualifier

Men’s singles, first round
Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Jaume Munar (ESP)
Christopher O’Connell (AUS) v Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Qualifier
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v Qualifier

Men’s singles, second round
[9] Alex de Minaur (AUS) 
[32] Jordan Thompson (AUS)

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