London, Great Britain, 3 July 2024 | Matt Trollope and Leigh Rogers

Alexei Popyrin has won his first match at the All England Club in five years, powering into the second round of the men’s singles competition at Wimbledon 2024.

The world No.47 posted a 6-4 6-7(8) 6-3 6-4 first-round victory against Thiago Monteiro of Brazil on a dreary London day.

The result is a continuation of a solid season for the 24-year-old Australian, who has now won four of his six grass-court matches.

Since 2019, when he qualified for the main draw and then reached the second round, Popyrin had lost his past four matches at SW19.

In his two most recent appearances, he lost heartbreaking opening-round five-setters to Hugo Gaston and Dominic Stricker respectively. But he snapped that streak today, setting up a second-round meeting with 30th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

“It’s not a secret that grass hasn’t been my most favourite surface, (plus) had a few tricky draws here or there,” Popyrin said of his record at Wimbledon.

“I think this year, I’ve been saying it’s the most comfortable I’ve felt on the grass in my whole career. Movement-wise, playing-wise, I feel like I know what I’m doing out there.”

Popyrin created two break-point opportunities in the seventh game of the match, the first of which world No.86 Monteiro – a powerful lefty – saved with a forehand winner. But he pushed a forehand wide on the next point to surrender serve, and Popyrin, now with the advantage, did not let go of it, pocketing the first set with an ace.

Popyrin’s phenomenal serve continued to help him race through service games in the second set. By the time he’d held to love and levelled at four-all, he’d already slotted nine aces, landed 78 per cent of first serves and won 94 per cent of those points.

But as soon as Monteiro held for 5-4, rain arrived and suspended play.

When they resumed, the set progressed to a tiebreak, where Monteiro initially led 6-3 only to double-fault away his third set point for six-all. Popyrin saved two more set points but couldn’t fend off a sixth.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy match today and I knew that lefty serve was going to cause me trouble,” Popyrin said. “I think it did a little bit in the first two sets.”

The Australian No.3 regained control in the third set, breaking in the fourth game and holding on to this advantage to take a two-sets-to-one lead.

Then after snaring a late break in the ninth game of the fourth set, Popyrin served out an impressive victory.

He finished the match with 24 aces, did not face a break point and conceded just 15 points on serve in total across the two-hour and 37-minute encounter.

“It was a really solid match from my end,” Popyrin said. “I think I served particularly well or very well, looking at the stats.

“I feel like I moved really well out there, especially in damp conditions. It was drizzling and quite wet out there but I still felt comfortable, which is a huge plus for me.”

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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