London, Great Britain, 25 June 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Alex Bolt has made a memorable start to his sixth Wimbledon qualifying campaign.

The 31-year-old only discovered he had a place in the draw 10 minutes before his scheduled match, leaving him in a scramble to be ready for a first-round meeting with Argentine Nicolas Kicker.

“I found out at 10.50 for an 11 o’clock start,” explained world No.234 Bolt, who was promoted into the draw as an alternate following a late withdrawal from 11th seed Valentin Vacherot.

“I was actually about to go get a feed at the restaurant when my name got called over the loudspeaker saying that someone had pulled out, so I had 10 minutes to get my whites on and get on court.”

The unflappable Bolt made the most of the opportunity against an opponent he knew nothing about, scoring a dominant 6-1 6-4 victory.

He fired 24 winners to eight, and conceded only a total of six points on serve, across their 67-minute encounter.

“It all just happened so quick, even now I’m still trying to process it properly,” Bolt told after his match.

“I’ve never been this close (to the draw) as an alternate, where you have to kind of be ready go whenever. I guess I’m lucky today.”

Bolt now turns his attention to a second-round meeting with world No.201 Rudolf Molleker, a 23-year-old German with only three grass-court wins to his name across his professional career.

This means Bolt, who grew up playing on grass courts in South Australia’s Riverland region and previously qualified at Wimbledon in 2018, will hold a major edge in experience in their clash.

“It’s always going to be a tough match, no matter who you play at a Slam,” Bolt said.

“(But) I love playing here and especially on the grass, I feel at home. It’s nice just to keep my name in the draw, because you know, you never know what is going to happen.”

The Wimbledon 2024 women’s qualifying singles competition gets underway at Roehampton tomorrow, with 10 Australian contenders in the draw.

> READ MORE: Ten Australian women to contest qualifying at Wimbledon 2024

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
[4] James Duckworth (AUS) d Benjamin Hassan (GER) 6-7(8) 6-2 6-4
Li Tu (AUS) d Valentin Royer (FRA) 6-3 7-6(5)
[Alt] Alex Bolt (AUS)
d Nicolas Kicker (ARG) 6-1 6-4
[3] Zizou Bergs (BEL) d Omar Jasika (AUS) 6-2 7-5
[9] David Goffin (BEL) d Marc Polmans (AUS) 6-3 6-1
[10] Damir Dzumhur (BIH) d Tristan Schoolkate (AUS) 6-4 7-6(3)
Hugo Dellien (BOL) d Philip Sekulic (AUS) 6-3 6-7(5) 6-3
Bernabe Zapata Miralles (ESP) d Dane Sweeny (AUS) 7-5 6-1

Women’s qualifying singles, first round
[7] Arina Rodionova (AUS) v [WC] Amelia Rajecki (GBR)
[27] Astra Sharma (AUS) v Varvara Lepchenko (USA)
[32] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v Arianne Hartono (NED)
Olivia Gadecki (AUS) v [6] Maria Timofeeva
Talia Gibson (AUS) v [19] Jana Fett (CRO)
Priscilla Hon (AUS) v [28] Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE)
Taylah Preston (AUS) v Natalija Stevanovic (SRB)
Maya Joint (AUS) v Andreea Mitu (ROU)
Destanee Aiava (AUS) v Anastasiya Soboleva (UKR)
[Alt] Maddison Inglis (AUS) v [22] Sara Bejlek (CZE)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 women’s qualifying singles draw

Men’s qualifying singles, second round
[4] James Duckworth (AUS) Nicolas Moreno De Alboran (USA)
Li Tu (AUS) v [6] Luca Van Assche (FRA)
[Alt] Alex Bolt (AUS) v Rudolf Molleker (GER)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 men’s qualifying singles draw

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