London, Great Britain, 1 July 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Five Australian players, including Jordan Thompson, begin their main-draw singles campaigns at Wimbledon today.

“I love coming here. It’s my favourite tournament,” world No.40 Thompson said ahead of his eighth appearance at the prestigious All England Club. “There’s no better place to play tennis.”

The Australian No.2 faces Pavel Kotov, a 25-year-old making his Wimbledon main-draw debut.

“He’s a quality player, so I’m going to have to be all guns blazing,” said Thompson, who lost his only previous meeting with world No.53 Kotov in April after squandering match points.

Following his extraordinary effort to qualify, Alex Bolt is now preparing for a first-round showdown with world No.8 Casper Ruud.

> READ: Bolt wins dramatic five-set thriller to qualify at Wimbledon 2024

“To play a quality player like Casper at a Grand Slam, I mean, that’s that’s why you play,” said Bolt, who snuck into the qualifying draw as an alternate and then saved a match point in his final-round win.

Looking to score his first top-10 win, the 31-year-old from South Australia believes he has a chance to score a major upset.

“I feel like my game probably naturally suits the grass a little bit more,” said the world No.234.

“I grew up playing on the stuff. I feel quite comfortable and at home on this surface, but take nothing away from him (Ruud). He’s a quality player. He’s made Slam finals before. He knows how to win at this level, in these tournaments. So I definitely can’t take him lightly.

“(But) I back myself against anyone on grass. I mean, if I go out there and do what I want to do well, and I execute what I want to do, then I’m going to be tough for anyone to beat. So I’m just going to go out there and give it my all.”

Max Purcell begins his third Wimbledon singles campaign with brimming confidence too, after advancing to his first ATP-level final at Eastbourne last week. The 26-year-old, who was rewarded with a rapid ranking rise to world No.68, faces Finnish qualifier Otto Virtanen in the opening round.

The in-form Aleksandar Vukic was a semifinalist at Eastbourne and notched two top-30 wins on grass in recent weeks. He meets world No.45 Sebastian Ofner, an Austrian who proved his own grass-court credentials by reaching the final at an ATP tournament in Spain last week.

Daria Saville, Australia’s top-ranked woman, is also in action on day one. She takes on world No.52 Peyton Stearns, a rising 22-year-old American who has won 12 of her past 16 matches.

“I’ve never played her. I practised with her, I think, this year for the first time,” world No.82 Saville said. “She’s young, she’s been playing some good tennis.”

The 30-year-old Saville’s plan is to enter the match with no expectations.

“I feel like I just have to problem solve in the moment and I don’t want to put pressure on myself,” she explained. “I want to keep myself accountable with ‘okay, whatever happens, you have to problem solve’ and at least give myself a chance.”

> READ: Spirits high as Australian women prepare for Wimbledon 2024

Wimbledon is broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network and Stan Sport, with coverage beginning from 7.30pm AEST.

Aussies in action on day one:

Men’s singles, first round
[Q] Alex Bolt (AUS) v [8] Casper Ruud (NOR), No.3 Court, first match (from 8pm AEST)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Pavel Kotov, Court 19, first match (from 8pm AEST)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v Sebastian Ofner (AUT), Court 7, third match
Max Purcell (AUS) v [Q] Otto Virtanen (FIN), Court 9, fourth match

Women’s singles, first round
Daria Saville (AUS) v Peyton Stearns (USA), Court 10, second match

> VIEW: Full Wimbledon 2024 day one schedule

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