London, Great Britain, 27 June 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Maddison Inglis is making the most of her luck in the Wimbledon 2024 women’s qualifying singles competition.

Originally not even in the draw, the 26-year-old alternate now finds herself in the final round.

“Tennis is crazy,” Inglis declared after recording a convincing 6-3 6-0 victory against Serbian Natalija Stevanovic in the second round.

“It’s been awesome and sometimes it’s an advantage to go in with no pressure really. It’s like ‘Wow, two days ago I wasn’t even playing and now I get to play at one of the best tournaments in the world’, so I’m really enjoying it.”

Inglis encountered a familiar opponent in world No.195 Stevanovic. She had recorded a milestone first Wimbledon win against the 29-year-old during her maiden qualifying campaign in 2021 and they met again in the final qualifying round in 2022, which Inglis also won.

“Every time I’ve played Wimbledon, I’ve played Natalija. It’s really funny,” world No.243 Inglis laughed.

“She’s a really, really tough opponent and went deep last year in the main draw (making the third round), so she can make people feel really uncomfortable on this surface.

“I had a game plan going out there and I knew I had to execute it well to beat her, which I did.”

Inglis, who benefitted from a mid-match retirement from No.22 seed Sara Bejlek in her opening round, next faces Ukrainian Yuliia Starodubtseva.

> READ: Two Australian men advance to final qualifying round at Wimbledon 2024

Fellow Western Australian Talia Gibson triumphed in an all-Aussie second-round showdown, scoring a hard-fought 7-6(5) 4-6 7-5 victory against Destanee Aiava.

The 20-year-old Gibson fought back from a 3-5 deficit in the deciding set, winning 16 of the last 19 points to advance to the final round in a Grand Slam qualifying draw for the first time.

“Honestly, I’m still a bit shocked,” a relieved Gibson said after the two-hour and 20-minute battle. “There was definitely a bit of doubt creeping in there, but I really tried to push myself not to give into those negative thoughts and told myself to ‘take it one point at a time, because anything can happen’.

“I’m really, really happy to get through that. I’m over the moon. It’s definitely up there as one of the top wins of my career.”

Gibson’s victory sets up a final-round clash with top seed Katie Volynets. The 22-year-old American is currently ranked at a career-high world No.71 and previously qualified at Wimbledon in 2021.

Olivia Gadecki needed three sets as well to fight past Frenchwoman Harmony Tan, who created worldwide headlines at Wimbledon two years ago when she upset seven-time champion Serena Williams in the opening round.

The 22-year-old from the Gold Coast had her measure today though, carving out a 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory to advance to the final qualifying round for the second year in a row.

“Every win means a lot,” said world No.177 Gadecki, who trains at the National Tennis Academy in Brisbane alongside Gibson. “Coming back from a set down, I never doubted myself. I thought I had the game to beat her and I just needed to really back myself and go for it.”

Gadecki will face another French opponent, world No.151 Elsa Jacquemot, in tomorrow’s final round. 

The last remaining Aussie qualifying hopes are aiming to join compatriots Daria Saville and wildcard recipient Ajla Tomljanovic in the main draw.

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Women’s qualifying singles, second round
Olivia Gadecki (AUS) 
d Harmony Tan (FRA) 4-6 6-4 6-2
Talia Gibson (AUS) d Destanee Aiava (AUS) 7-6(5) 4-6 7-5
[Alt] Maddison Inglis (AUS) 
d Natalija Stevanovic (SRB) 6-3 6-0
[20] McCartney Kessler (USA) d Maya Joint (AUS) 2-6 6-4 6-2
Parrizas Diaz (ESP) d [7] Arina Rodionova (AUS) 7-5 7-6(6)
Anca Todoni (ROU) d [32] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) 6-7(2) 7-5 6-4

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
Talia Gibson (AUS) v [1] Katie Volynets (USA)
Olivia Gadecki (AUS) v Elsa Jacquemot (FRA)
[Alt] Maddison Inglis (AUS) Yuliia Starodubtseva (UKR)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 women’s qualifying singles draw

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