London, Great Britain, 3 July 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Alex de Minaur has emerged triumphant in his first Grand Slam singles meeting with a fellow Australian. However, the ninth seed was forced to dig deep to make a winning start to his Wimbledon 2024 campaign.

He navigated some inspired play from James Duckworth, plus several lengthy rain delays, before eventually prevailing 7-6(1) 7-6(3) 7-6(4) in an all-Australian showdown at Court 12.

“It definitely wasn’t easy by any means,” De Minaur said.

“It’s never easy playing a fellow Aussie. Playing Ducks, who is a great grass-court player, and starting your Wimbledon campaign is not easy, but I’m happy to be through.”

The 32-year-old Duckworth, a lucky loser in the draw, pushed the Aussie No.1 throughout the three-hour and four-minute encounter. The world No.81 even served for both the second and third sets.

But 25-year-old De Minaur ultimately had too many answers, proving why he’s a top-10 star by lifting in the tightest moments. He finished the match with 49 winners, including 16 aces.

The straight-sets victory improves De Minaur’s record to 22 wins from his 30 career meetings against an Australian opponent.

He has only lost to an Aussie player twice in the past five years. Alexei Popyrin had his measure at the Paris Masters in 2021, while Nick Kyrgios was victorious when they met at the Canadian Masters in 2022. This is his second victory against Duckworth.

Following his match, De Minaur rushed to support British girlfriend Katie Boulter as she edged out a 7-6(6) 7-5 first-round victory against Wimbledon 2022 semifinalist Tatjana Maria.

“I definitely would have rather she won one and one, I’ll tell you that. That way I probably could have relaxed,” he smiled.

“I guess it was a good day at the household. I never knew we were so good at playing tiebreaks.”

Through to the second round at Wimbledon for the fifth time in his career, De Minaur next faces Spaniard Jaume Munar.

De Minaur recently defeated world No.63 Munar in the second round at Roland Garros, then went on to reach the quarterfinals in a career-best run.

“I’m very intrigued for this match-up,” De Minaur said. “Obviously I played him on clay, but I think I can’t take anything out of that match, if I’m completely honest, going into playing him on grass. It’s completely polar opposite surfaces. I think it’s going to be a lot more on my racquet.”

Australian hopes Alexei Popyrin, who scored his first Wimbledon singles victory in five years, and Adam Walton, who recorded his first Grand Slam main-draw win, also advanced on day two.

Thanasi Kokkinakis’ evening match with Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime was suspended in the fourth set, after the Australian had gallantly saved four match points to keep his hopes alive in a tense third-set tiebreak.

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Men’s singles, first round
[9] Alex de Minaur (AUS) d [LL] James Duckworth (AUS) 7-6(1) 7-6(3) 7-6(4)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) d Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-4 6-7(8) 6-3 6-4
Adam Walton (AUS) d Federico Coria (ARG) 6-3 6-3 7-5
[13] Taylor Fritz (USA) d Chris O’Connell (AUS) 6-1 6-2 6-4
Flavio Cobolli (ITA) d Rinky Hijikata (AUS) 7-5 4-6 6-4 6-4

Women’s singles, first round
[13] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) d [WC] Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-1 6-2
[Q] Robin Montgomery (USA) d [Q] Olivia Gadecki (AUS) 6-4 6-4

Men’s singles, first round
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v [17] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 4-6 5-7 7-6(9) 1-1 to finish

Men’s singles, second round
[9] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Jaume Munar (ESP)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) 
v [3] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [30] Tomas Martin Etcheverry (ARG) 
Jordan Thompson (AUS) 
v Brandon Nakashima (USA)
Adam Walton (AUS) v Francisco Comesana (ARG)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 men’s singles draw

Women’s singles, second round
Daria Saville (AUS) v [18] Marta Kostyuk (UKR)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 women’s singles draw

> READ: Nine Australians to contest doubles at Wimbledon 2024

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