‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, 12 June 2024 | Rhys de Deugd

‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

Two Australians have advanced to the second round at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in what was their first ever tour-level meetings with fellow Sydney-siders.

Alexei Popyrin got his grass-court season off to a strong start with his 6-4 6-4 win over Rinky Hijikata in one hour and 20 minutes.

The battle started in Hijikata’s favour on the Dutch grass, as he took the early break in the opening set and raced out to a 3-0 lead.

However, Popyrin served strongly when required and won 79 per cent of first-serve points, whilst saving all four of Hijikata’s break point opportunities for the remainder of the contest.

Popyrin snaps a four-match losing streak from his clay-court season, and moves into the second round of an event for the sixth time this year where he will face world No.13 Tommy Paul.

Meanwhile in another all-Aussie clash, Aleksandar Vukic scooped his third main-draw win on grass for his career at the expense of compatriot Max Purcell.

Vukic recorded 11 aces and 25 winners in an impressive display for his first match of his career in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

The world No.87 is set to face No.4 seed Karen Khachanov in the second round.

Popyrin and Vukic take the total of Aussie men in the second round to three, as they join the top seed Alex de Minaur who received a first-round bye.

Aussies in action – ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Men’s singles, first round
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) d Rinky Hijikata (AUS) 6-4 6-4
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) Max Purcell (AUS) 6-3 7-6(5)
Milos Raonic (CAN) d [8] Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3 6-4
[7] Sebastian Korda (USA) d [Q] Tristan Schoolkate (AUS) 6-4 7-6(4)

Women’s singles, first round
[3] Ekaterina Alexandrova d Arina Rodionova (AUS) 6-3 6-4

Men’s singles, second round
[1] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v  [LL] Zizou Bergs (BEL)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [2] Tommy Paul (USA)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS)
v [4] Karen Khachanov 

Men’s doubles, first round
[4] Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Ryan Seggerman (USA)/Patrik Trhac (USA)
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) v [3] Ivan Dodig (CRO)/Henry Patten (GBR)

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Mackenzie McDonald (USA) v TBD

Stuttgart, Germany

Across the border into Germany, James Duckworth has continued his stellar qualifying form into the main draw of the Stuttgart Open with an impressive opening-round victory.

Duckworth defeated fellow qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert from France 6-4 7-6(2) to advance to the second round of a tour-level event for the fourth time this year.

Despite the Frenchman firing off 20 aces in the two-set contest, the Aussie only made three unforced errors for the match, and managed to hold on to grind out a win.

Duckworth has a big task ahead of him on the grass as he takes on the big-serving world No.14 Ben Shelton in the second round.

Aussies in action – Stuttgart

Men’s singles, first round
[Q] James Duckworth (AUS) d [Q] Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 7-6(2)

Men’s singles, second round
[Q] James Duckworth (AUS) v [2] Ben Shelton (USA)

Nottingham, Great Britain

Ellen Perez alongside American partner Nicole Melichar-Martinez have got their grass-court season off to a flying start with a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 win in the opening round at the WTA 250 event in Nottingham.

Daria Saville and Kimberly Birrell are also off to winning starts in the women’s singles draw.

Aussies in action – Nottingham

Women’s doubles, first round
[2] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) d Alycia Parks (USA)/Alana Smith (USA) 6-2 6-2

Women’s singles, second round
Daria Saville (AUS) v Diane Parry (FRA)
[Q] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v [Q] Lucrezia Stefanini (ITA)

Women’s doubles, quarterfinal
[2] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v Harriet Dart (GBR)/Diane Parry (FRA)

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