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Australian qualifier Storm Hunter is through to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career as she battled past big-hitting German Laura Siegemund at a rapturous John Cain Arena.

Ironically, the pair are both placed in the top five of the doubles world rankings but prepared to face off in one the biggest matches of their respective singles careers.

The match began with seven breaks of serve before Hunter ended the streak and held serve for the remainder of the opening set, much to the delight of the rowdy home support.

Although they are both notoriously known for their doubles play, it was a back-and-forth exchange from the baseline for the majority which produced some fast-paced rallies.

A comfortable straight sets win was on the cards when the Aussie favourite found herself a break up in the second set at 3-2, as the doubles world number 1 made good use of her variety with the slice to keep her opponent guessing.

Things would turn dramatically thereafter, as Siegemund took over momentum and won the next four games to level the scores at one set apiece.

A frustrated Siegemund turned to her box for inspiration after trailing 1-4 in the decider, and those words of wisdom got her within touching distance at 3-4.

Through large stretches of the contest, the 35-year-old displayed more power and dictated play, but Hunter constructed the points and picked her moments to capitalise.

Hunter elevated an extra gear with the green and gold army right behind her to close it out 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in what will go down as a monumental moment in her career.

The 29-year-old will now prepare to meet ninth seed Czech Barbora Krejčíková - a former French Open champion and Australian Open quarter-finalist.

After the match, Hunter spoke to the press about how challenging it was to play against Siegemund.

“It was a pretty tough match out there. Laura is a huge competitor (and) I knew going into this match she wasn’t going to give me anything. I had to really earn it,” said Hunter.

Now rewarded for her endless hard work during the highs and lows, Hunter reflected on what this victory means for her.

“To get the win and to be in the third round of the Australian Open, yeah, it's a dream come true. Obviously I have been playing for a long time. It's my sixth main-draw Australian Open. It almost feels sweeter this way because I have done it the hard way.”


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