Stuttgart, Germany, 14 June 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Stuttgart, Germany

James Duckworth has beaten world No.14 Ben Shelton in a three-set tussle at an ATP 250 grass-court tournament in Stuttgart.

The American fired 21 aces in their second-round encounter – but it wasn’t enough to stop the Australian qualifier edging out a 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3 victory.

This is 32-year-old Duckworth’s fourth career top-20 win and first since 2021. All three of his previous top-20 wins had been on hard courts.

The resurgent Duckworth’s reward is a quarterfinal showdown with former world No.6 and Wimbledon 2021 finalist Matteo Berrettini.

This is the world No.101’s third tour-level quarterfinal appearance of the season.

Aussies in action – Stuttgart

Men’s singles, second round
[Q] James Duckworth (AUS) d [2] Ben Shelton (USA) 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[Q] James Duckworth (AUS) v Matteo Berrettini (ITA)

‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

Alex de Minaur has made a winning start to the grass-court season, beating Belgium’s Zizou Bergs to move into the quarterfinals at an ATP 250 tournament at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

The world No.9, who was contesting his first match since reaching the Roland Garros quarterfinals earlier this month, scored a 7-5 6-4 victory.

“Zizou is a hell of competitor and a very tricky opponent and I’m very happy I was able to sneak the win,” said De Minaur, who received a first-round bye as the tournament’s top seed. “First win of the grass-court season, so hopefully there are many, many more.”

This sets up a final-eight showdown with big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, a former world No.3 and Wimbledon 2016 finalist.

Aleksandar Vukic is also through to the quarterfinals after recording his career-best grass-court win.

The 28-year-old Australian eliminated world No.22 Karen Khachanov in a tight second-round clash. With their rain-delayed match resuming tied at one-set apiece, world No.87 Vukic managed to close out a 6-4 5-7 7-6(4) victory.

This is Vukic’s second career win over a top-30 opponent and his first on grass.

Defending champion and local favourite Tallon Griekspoor awaits in the next round.

In doubles action, John-Patrick Smith has advanced to the semifinals with his German partner Andrea Mies. They scored a hard-fought win against Australia’s Rinky Hijikata and American Mackenzie McDonald in the quarterfinals.

Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson also won through to the semifinals, however have since withdrawn from the tournament due to a right shoulder injury for Purcell.

Aussies in action – ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Men’s singles, second round
[1] Alex de Minaur (AUS) d [LL] Zizou Bergs (BEL) 7-5 6-4
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d [4] Karen Khachanov 6-4 5-7 7-6(4)
[2] Tommy Paul (USA) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 5-7 6-4 6-3

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) d [WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 6-3 6-7(2) [10-7]
[4] Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) d Skander Mansouri (TUN)/Robin Haase (NED) 7-5 7-6(3)

Men’s doubles, semifinals
[1] Wesley Koolhof (NED)/Nikola Mektic (CRO) d [4] Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) walkover

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[1] Alex de Minaur (AUS)
 v Milos Raonic (CAN)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v [6] Tallon Griekspoor (NED)

Men’s doubles, semifinals
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) v [2] Nathaniel Lammons (USA)/Jackson Withrow (USA)

Nottingham, Great Britain

Kimberly Birrell has the chance to advance to her first tour-level singles semifinal at a WTA 250 tournament in Nottingham this week.

The 26-year-old from the Gold Coast is the last standing Australian at the event, following Ellen Perez bowing out in the doubles quarterfinals alongside American partner Nicole Melichar-Martinez.

Brit Harriet Dart teamed with France’s Diane Parry, Birrell’s upcoming quarterfinal opponent, to upset the second seeds 6-4 6-4.

Aussies in action – Nottingham

Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
Harriet Dart (GBR)/Diane Parry (FRA) d [2] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) 6-4 6-4

Women’s singles, quarterfinals
[Q] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v Diane Parry (FRA)

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