Paris, France, 23 May 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Astra Sharma and Olivia Gadecki have moved one step closer to earning a coveted main-draw spot at Roland Garros 2024.

The 28-year-old Sharma progressed to the final round in the women’s qualifying singles competition with an impressive 6-3 6-4 win today against Hungarian Timea Babos in Paris.

World No.130 Sharma struck 21 winners, including seven aces, and converted all three break points she earned against the former world No.25 and two-time Roland Garros doubles champion.

This sets up a final-round showdown with Serbian Olga Danilovic, who defeated Australian contender Kimberly Birrell 6-3 6-3 in the second round.

The 22-year-old Gadecki produced an equally dominant display to dismiss Argentina’s Solana Sierra, a girls’ singles finalist at Roland Garros in 2022.

World No.165 Gadecki fired 16 winners, doubling her 19-year-old’s opponents tally across their 81-minute encounter, to triumph 6-2 6-4.

This sees Gadecki reach the final qualifying round in Paris for the first time, where she’ll face Grand Slam debutante Julia Avdeeva.

Sharma and Gadecki now have the chance to join exclusive company, with only five Australian women completing successful qualifying campaigns at Roland Garros in the past 30 years.

Roland Garros women’s singles
Australian qualifiers in the past 30 years
Michelle Jaggard-Lai (1994)
Rachel McQuillan (1996)
Sophie Ferguson (2010)
Olivia Rogowska (2015)
Storm Hunter (2021, 2023)

Sharma is aiming to qualify at a major tournament for the fourth time and complete her Grand Slam qualifying set. The Perth athlete has previously qualified at Australian Open 2019, US Open 2021 and Wimbledon 2022.

The Gold Coast-based Gadecki has qualified at a Grand Slam tournament once before, at last year’s US Open.

Unfortunately Taylah Preston was unable to capitalise on a promising start against a fellow 18-year-old, Alexandra Eala from the Philippines, in their second-round meeting. The Perth athlete led 6-4 4-2, before bowing out in three sets.

Eala, who won the Roland Garros girls’ doubles title three years ago and trains at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain, also recovered from a 2-4 deficit in the deciding set before closing out a hard-fought 4-6 6-4 7-5 victory.

> READ: Perth coach Brad Dyer embracing journey with rising star Taylah Preston

Hungarian Panna Udvardy ended the winning run of Priscilla Hon, edging out a 6-4 6-4 victory.

Meanwhile, Li Tu, Australia’s last hope in the men’s qualifying competition, lost to Kazakhstan veteran Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets.

Final qualifying round matches will be split across two days in Paris, with only Sharma scheduled to compete on day four.

> VIEW: Roland Garros 2024 qualifying day four schedule

Aussies in action – Roland Garros

Women’s qualifying singles, second round
[22] Astra Sharma (AUS) d Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3 6-4
Olivia Gadecki (AUS) d Solana Sierra (ARG) 6-2 6-4
Alexandra Eala (PHL) d [30] Taylah Preston (AUS) 4-6 6-4 7-5
[11] Olga Danilovic (SRB) d Kimberly Birrell (AUS) 6-3 6-3
[27] Panna Udvardy (HUN) d Priscilla Hon (AUS) 6-4 6-4

Men’s qualifying singles, second round
[25] Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) d Li Tu (AUS) 6-4 6-2

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
[22] Astra Sharma (AUS) v [11] Olga Danilovic (SRB)
Olivia Gadecki (AUS) v Julia Avdeeva

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