London, Great Britain, 3 July 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Aleksandar Vukic is ready for one of the biggest challenges of his career on day three at Wimbledon 2024.

The 28-year-old from Sydney will make his No.1 Court debut, facing world No.3 and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz in a second-round men’s singles match.

“I haven’t played on the biggest stages yet,” said Vukic, who is making his second main-draw appearance at Wimbledon this year. “It will be new territory for me, but I’m very excited to experience it and live it to the fullest.”

Vukic does boast a winning record against Alcaraz, saving a match point in a three-set tussle during a first-round qualifying match at Roland Garros in 2020.

“I’m sure we both remember that match,” the world No.69 said.

That was then-17-year-old Alcaraz’s first match at Grand Slam level. In the four years since, he has become the youngest man in history to win major titles on three different surfaces and the youngest man to top the ATP Tour singles rankings.

They practised together most recently during a tournament last year in Beijing, which proved an eye-opening experience for Vukic.

“It wasn’t necessary him playing, obviously he’s a very good tennis player, but it was more his fame,” Vukic related of what struck him most in that practice session.

“I’m just there on court and no one knows who I am, then he comes on and everyone’s going insane. It was like ‘this guy is living in another world’.”

Vukic believes he can trouble the 21-year-old Spanish star, noting “everyone’s beatable”.

“If things go my way, if I play well, serve well or if he doesn’t have his best day – one hundred per cent I can win,” he said.

Jordan Thompson is also familiar with his second-round opponent, world No.65 Brandon Nakashima. They have met five times previously, with the 22-year-old American winning three of those encounters.

Thompson did, however, win their most recent meeting. The 30-year-old from Sydney prevailed in five sets during the opening round at Wimbledon last year, fighting back from a two-set-to-love deficit.

“I need a better start than last year against him,” noted Thompson after recording another five-set victory in the opening round on Monday.

Enjoying her best run at Wimbledon in six years, Daria Saville knows she faces a big challenge too against world No.19 Marta Kostyuk.

“Marta is a player that can do everything and anything on the court,” Saville said of the 22-year-old Ukrainian.

“She takes a lot of risks, but she’s had really good results (lately). I think that’s because she’s trusting her game and going for it.”

Saville, who lost their only previous meeting during a Billie Jean King Cup tie seven years ago, described Kostyuk as “very emotionally up and down”.

“We’re probably a bit similar in that regards, not our games, but mentally,” the top-ranked Australian woman said. “So it’s going to be interesting who can handle the occasion better.”

Meanwhile, Thanasi Kokkinakis was looking to stage a miraculous comeback when his first-round clash with world No.17 Felix Auger-Aliassime was delayed late on Tuesday evening. The Aussie had saved four match points in a tense third-set tiebreak to keep his hopes alive.

The match resumes on Wednesday early in the fourth set, with the Canadian holding a two-set-to-one advantage.

There are also three Australians, including world No.1 Matt Ebden, featuring in doubles action on day three at the All England Club.

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 three:

Men’s singles, first round
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v [17] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN), No.2 court, second match (not before 9.30pm AEST), 4-6 5-7 7-6(9) 1-1 to finish

Men’s singles, second round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Brandon Nakashima (USA), Court 8, first match (from 8pm AEST)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) 
v [3] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP), No.1 Court, second match

Women’s singles, second round
Daria Saville (AUS) v [18] Marta Kostyuk (UKR), Court 12, fifth match

Men’s doubles, first round
[2] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Adrian Mannarino (FRA)/Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard (FRA), Court 9, third match
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) v Victor Cornea (ROU)/Fabian Marozsan (HUN), Court 7, fourth match

Women’s doubles, first round
[3] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v [WC] Sarah Beth Grey (GBR)/Tara Moore (GBR), Court 8, fourth match

> VIEW: Full Wimbledon 2024 day three schedule

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