London, Great Britain, 25 June 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Li Tu couldn’t wipe the smile off his face today after recording a first-round win in the Wimbledon 2024 men’s qualifying singles competition.

The 28-year-old from Adelaide, who is competing at the prestigious Grand Slam event for the first time, recorded a 6-3 7-6(5) victory against France’s Valentin Royer.

“I feel great. This is my first Wimbledon, so I’m feeling really pumped,” Tu told

“Not just about the win, but also how I played today. I played my brand, came forward a lot and hit a lot of volleys. I’m more proud of that and the way I was able to execute my game.”

Although this is only Tu’s 10th appearance in a professional grass-court tournament, he feels “pretty comfortable” on the surface.

“Growing up, I played a lot on grass,” he explained. “In South Australia our Saturday morning comps were on grass, so I do love it.

“I think we have a real advantage as Australians on the grass courts, as we end up playing on it a fair bit.”

Today’s breakthrough victory provided another thrilling chapter in Tu’s remarkable comeback story. He was running a coaching business in Adelaide prior to 2020, before the COVID pandemic inspired him to pursue his professional tennis dreams again.

“Honestly, sometimes I have to pinch myself,” admitted Tu, who was a promising junior before making education his priority at age 18.

“As tennis players, we’re our own worst critics. I haven’t been performing that well in the past three or four months, but sometimes I have to say to myself: ‘Look Li, you’ve only been back playing for three or four years now and you’re already here at Wimbledon qualifying’.

“That’s a big milestone for a lot of people, so this week I’ve really tried to change my attitude and just say ‘let’s just scrap the past few months and look forward and give it our best effort’.

“I’m just really happy to get the win today and hopefully can build on that in the next couple of days.”

The world No.202 is already excited for his next challenge, which is a second-round showdown with highly rated French talent Luca Van Assche. The 20-year-old is the sixth seed and rose as high as world No.63 last season.

“I’m just really enjoying it, loving every moment of being out here and just trying to take it in,” Tu said.

Tu is joined in the second round by compatriots Alex Bolt, who made the most of a late call-up into the draw, and the fourth-seeded James Duckworth, who scored a hard-fought win in the opening round.

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) Rudolf Molleker (GER)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 men’s qualifying singles draw

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