AUSSIE PAIR FORCED TO WITHDRAW AS ACTION GETS UNDERWAY IN BENDIGO


Two of Australia's most promising prospects competing in Bendigo this week have been forced to withdraw from the tournament. Omar Jasika and Li Tu were forced to withdraw from the tournament on Monday when their PCR tests did not come back in time for them to take the court.


Both Jasika and Tu were close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case in recent days, and therefore were required to provide negative PCR tests in order to compete in Bendigo this week. But when their results didn't come back in time, it left them with no chance but to withdraw from the tournament, leaving both players shattered.


17-old-old Australian Cooper Errey was an early call up to main draw action on Monday, playing as a Lucky Loser after the much-awaited return from Omar Jasika was halted. The unranked Errey played well above his ranking, thoroughly challenging his opponent, Italian World No. 201 Franco Agamenone, who would go on to claim a 6-2 7-6(5) win.


Wildcard Thomas Fancutt was left to rue his missed opportunities in what was an extremely tight first-round loss to Bosnian Mirza Basic. In a topsy turvy type of match, it was the world #233 who was able to hold his nerve and outlast the Queenslander, despite Fancutt holding a set point in the first set. Basic prevailed 7-6(6) 6-4.


Australian qualifier Aaron Addison was unable to overcome the young Italian talent Flavio Cobolli. Melburnian Addison staged a courageous comeback in the latter stages of the match but ultimately was not able to overcome the world #205, going down 2-6, 6-7(4).


World No. 435 Dayne Kelly fell to NO. 204 Italian Thomas Fabbiano in straight sets. Kelly was ultimately outworked and outplayed by the higher-ranked Fabbiano, who moves on to face sixth-seeded Bosnian Damir Dzumhur, after clinching the match at 6-2 6-2.


Wildcard Moerani Bouzige lost to world World No. 211 Mathias Bourgue of France in a hard-fought match, where for most of the match it looked like either player could take it. Yet it was the experience of Bourgue that was the difference, defeating Bouzige 6-4 6-4.


22-year-old wildcard Matthew Christopher Romios was defeated by Jaroslav Pospisil of the Czech Republic 2-6, 3-6.


Teenager Charlie Camus was the eleventh-hour lucky loser as he replaced Li Tu in his match against Italian Lorenzo Giustino. 16-year-old Camus played beyond his years to push the Italian, but fell 6-7(2), 3-6.


Qualifier Matthew Dellavedova fell to Argentinian Facundo Mena in straight sets 2-6, 1-6.


On the women's side, 14-year-old Bridget Mihulka was outclassed by her opponent, second seed and World No. 248 Yuki Naito of Japan. Experience and age were on the Japanese player's side as she comfortably beat Mihulka 6-1 6-4 to move on to the next round. Mihulka showed great promise for her age.


Qualifier Michaela Haet was defeated comfortably by fifth seed - 16-year-old Victoria Jiménez Kasintseva of Andorra 0-6, 1-6 in just under 50 minutes in a clean display of dominance by the World No. 255.


In other results across the day, Australian qualifier, Stefani Webb lost in straight sets to Mexican qualifier Fernanda Contreras Gomez 5-7, 0-6.


Fellow Australian qualifier Tiannyu Dong fell to World No. 254 American Whitney Osuigwe 1-6, 2-6.


16-year-old Jelena Cvijanovic was defeated comfortably by Chinese qualifier You Xiaodi 0-6, 1-6.


14-year-old Maria-Sheba Mukama was a little out of her depth against World No. 251 American Hanna Chang, suffering a 0-6, 0-6 defeat.


Alison Bai fought hard against American opponent Alycia Parks, but ultimately fell to a 3-6, 7-6(3), 3-6 defeat.


Wildcard Catherine Aulia was disposed of clinically by 8th seeded American Jamie Loeb 1-6, 2-6.