Eastbourne, UK, 25 June 2024 | Matt Trollope

Eastbourne, UK

Aleksandar Vukic has made the most of a lucky-loser entry into the main draw of Eastbourne, winning his opening-round match at the British grass-court tournament.

Vukic beat Hungarian talent Fabian Marozsan 6-2 6-4 to set up a second-round meeting with third seed Alexander Bublik, an excellent grass-courter who won last year’s Halle title.

Vukic was joined in the second round by fellow Aussie Max Purcell, who overcame Laslo Djere in three sets.

Having come through qualifying, Purcell has now won three straight matches on the English south coast, as well as five of his past six matches on grass.

Purcell will play the winner of the match between No.8 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego.

Vukic lost in the final round of qualifying to Yoshihito Nishioka, but was elevated to the main draw when Dominik Koepfer withdrew.

Two weeks ago Vukic progressed to the quarters on grass in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and improves to 5-4 on the surface in 2024.

Countryman James McCabe also came through qualifying – the first time he has done so at an ATP event – and takes on Thiago Seyboth Wild in his first-round match on Tuesday (local time).

Aussies in action – Eastbourne

Men’s singles, first round
[Q] Max Purcell (AUS) d Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-1 4-6 6-3
[LL] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d Fabian Marozsan (HUN) 6-2 6-4

Men’s singles, second round
[LL] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS)
 v [3] Alexander Bublik (KAZ)
[Q] Max Purcell (AUS) v TBC

Men’s singles, first round
[Q] James McCabe (AUS) v Thiago Seyboth Wild (BRA)

Men’s doubles, first round
[3] Matt Ebden (AUS)/John Peers (AUS) v Nicolas Mahut (FRA)/Skander Mansouri (TUN)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) v [1] Rajeev Ram (USA)/Joe Salisbury (GBR)

Mallorca, Spain

Meanwhile, Rinky Hijikata continued his impressive grass-court season by defeating Luca Nardi in the first round of the ATP 250 event in Mallorca.

Hijikata won 6-2 2-6 7-5, his fifth grass-court win from his past six matches.

Last week, the 23-year-old qualified for the main draw at Queen’s Club and went all the way to the quarterfinals, ultimately falling to Sebastian Korda in three sets.

In Mallorca he takes on top seed Ben Shelton for a shot at a second straight ATP quarterfinal on grass.

Shelton fell victim to Hijikata’s countryman James Duckworth two weeks ago on grass in Stuttgart.

Another Aussie, Adam Walton, won two matches to qualify for the main draw in Mallorca, and plays Yannick Hanfmann for a chance to join Hijikata in the last 16.

Aussies in action – Mallorca

Men’s singles, first round
Rinky Hijikata (AUS) 
d Luca Nardi (ITA) 6-2 2-6 7-5

Men’s singles, second round
Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v [1] Ben Shelton (USA)

Men’s singles, first round
[Q] Adam Walton (AUS)
v Yannick Hanfmann (GER)

Bad Homburg, Germany

Ellen Perez got her campaign at the WTA 500 tournament in Bad Homburg off to a great start with partner Nicole Melichar-Martinez.

The No.1 seeds notched a straight-sets win over Arantxa Rus and Wu Fang-Hsien to move into their third straight grass-court quarterfinal.

Perez and Melichar-Martinez, champions in San Diego and Dubai finalists earlier in 2024, will next face either Zhang Shuai and Miyu Kato, or all-German pairing Vivian Heisen and Tamara Korpatsch.

Aussies in action – Bad Homburg

Women’s doubles, first round
[1] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) d Arantxa Rus (NED)/Wu Fang-Hsien (TPE) 6-3 6-4.

Find your way to play: Visit play.tennis.com.au to get out on court and have some fun!