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AUSSIES GO 3 AND 3 ON DAY 1 OF AO QUALIFYING

Posted By Jedd Zetzer  
11/01/2021
13:00 PM

Ellen Perez, Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler have advanced to the second round of Australian Open qualifying, whilst Blake Mott, Akira Santillan and Matthew Ebden were ousted on day one.

World no.235 Ellen Perez has registered her spot in the second round of Australian Open qualifying in Dubai, claiming a hard fought 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 victory over American Caroline Dolehide. 

The Aussie was only able to convert six of 21 break point opportunities, but managed to stay composed, recovering from a double break down in the deciding set to overcome world no.151 Dolehide in a nail biting encounter.

Over in Doha, Rinky Hijikata also claimed his spot in the second round of qualifying, downing American Christopher Eubanks 6-2, 6-3 in a major upset win for the teenager. 

The 19 year old didn't face a break point and won 79% of points on his first serve, dismantling his higher ranked opponent in just 73 minutes.

Despite winning less points than his opponent, Jason Kubler won the battle of the Aussies, beating Matthew Ebden 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 under the lights in Doha. 

Unfortunately fellow Australian Blake Mott wasn't able to join Kubler, Hijikata and Perez on the winners list, falling to Sweden's Elias Ymer 4-6, 3-6 in a tough matchup.

Akira Santillan also fell on day one, going down to 27th seed Marc-Andrea Huesler 3-6, 6-3, 3-6 in a tight encounter. The Aussie wasn't able to match the Swiss world no.147, who hit 11 aces and 11 winners to advance to the second round. 

In other results on day one of qualifying, Ana Konjuh made a successful return to grand slam tennis, defeating fourth seed Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4 in her first grand slam appearance since 2018. 

In a massive upset, Bulgarian Isabella Shinikova claimed a major victory over second seed Oceane Dodin 7-5, 6-2.