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Posted By Alex Johnstone  
14:00 PM

Australia’s next generation of stars along with a few familiar faces took to the courts on the ATP Challenger and the ITF Tours overnight with a mixed bag of results. 

Top seed James Duckworth eventually ground down his opponent to score a first-up win at the Istanbul Challenger. The Aussie proved too much for Italian Lorenzo Giustino with the former winning 7-5, 6-1 to set up a clash with France’s Alexandre Muller in the next round. 

Joining Duckworth on the winners’ list was Melburnian Marc Polmans who defeated local Koray Kirci 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and a half. The No. 5 seed is due to face Tung-Lin Wu of Chinese Taipei in the second round. 

Unfortunately for fellow Aussies Matt Ebden and Bernard Tomic, the first round is as far as their Istanbul journey will go after the pair were defeated in their respective matches. 

Ebden was taken down by No. 2 seed Radu Albot 4-6, 6-1, 1-6 in an hour and 40 minutes while Tomic was quickly swept off the court 0-6, 1-6 by Frenchman Quentin Halys in just 36 minutes. 

Over in the States, Rinky Hijikata won his opening round match at the Atlantic Tire Championships in Cary, North Carolina. 

The University of North Carolina product took down fifth seed Jason Jung of Chinese Taipei 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and a half. Hijikata joins fellow Aussies Max Purcell, Dayne Kelly and potential third-round opponent Aleks Vukic. 

Fellow young gun Dane Sweeny kickstarted his campaign at the ITF M25K in Plaisir, France with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Frenchman Louis Dussin. Sweeny followed up his good work with good mate and doubles partner Tristan Schookate, winning their first-round match 6-1, 6-3 victory over Charles Minc and Adan Freire Da Silva. 

Li Tu continues to show some form internationally at the ITF M15K in Monastir with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Italian No. 5 seed Giorgio Ricca. The Aussie then teamed up with Kiwi Ajeet Rai for a 6-0, 6-1 opening-round win over Italians Alessio Zanotti and Nicolo Pozzani.  

It wasn’t to be for Matthew Romios at the ITFM15K in Montenegro, with the Aussie falling 3-6, 6-3, 4-6 to Felix Gill of Great Britain in the first round. Romios then teamed up with fellow Aussie William Ma but came up short against Andrea Basso and Gianmarco Ferrari, losing 5-7, 2-6. 

Aussie and University of Tennessee athlete Adam Walton secured a win in the doubles at the ITF M15k in Champaign, Illinois overnight. He partnered with Brit Emile Hudd for a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing of Eric Sock and Parth Aggarwal. 

Seone Mendez opened her account at the ITF W80K in Valencia with a 7-6(6), 6-2 victory over Turk Cagla Buyukakcay. 

Also on the winners’ list in Valencia was Jaimee Fourlis who, with partner Cristina Dinu of Romania, won their opening round match 6-4, 6-4 against Chloe Pacquet and Diane Parry. 

Finally, Ally Osborne and Alexandra Bozovic notched up a first-round win at the ITF W25K in Jablonec, Czech Republic. The pair move into the second round after defeating Karolina Kubanova and Nikola Tomanova 7-6(4), 7-5. 

Listen to The First Serve with Brett Phillips each Monday at 8pm AEST on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App. 

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