Aussie world No. 84 Jason Kubler advanced to the second round of the Australian Open following a straight sets victory on John Cain Arena.
Kubler overcame Argentinian world No. 44 Sebastian Baez 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 16 minutes in front of a parochial home crowd.
It’s the first time Kubler’s progressed to the second round at Melbourne Park, a stat not lost on the 29-year-old.
“Yeah, super happy. Last year I was able to have a good run in the mixed doubles. Even for me the doubles with the third round there. To be able to win for the first time in singles is super great," Kubler said in his press conference.
“Also I feel like I'm carrying a bit of the momentum from last year. I feel really proud of myself that I was able to win on the singles court.”
Kubler put in a clinical serving performance with six aces and an impressive win rate of 85% on his first serve.
The Queenslander also made great use of the court, winning 21 out of 28 points when coming to the net.
The victory is quite a milestone for the once highly touted junior, whose career was nearly cut short by injury. Now, he’s simply proud to be out there playing the sport he loves in front of packed stadiums.
“I'm proud of myself. I wasn't sure last year if I'd be in this sort of situation. Then sort of with my year last year, I was able to win a round at the French, the US Open, then have that pretty special run for me at Wimbledon, as well,” Kubler said.
“It's kind of cool now just almost the last four Grand Slams that I've been able to win a match in main draw. If anything, I'm more proud of that, but also to be able to play in front of the Australian crowd. I haven't really had the opportunity to do that.”
Kubler is sure to be playing on one of the big courts for his second round match against 18th seed Karen Khachanov, an opponent not to be taken lightly.
“He's definitely a decent player, that's for sure,” he said.
“I'm just going to go out there, try my best. I hate to always say this sort of cliché, but honestly I'll go out there and try my best. If an opportunity comes, I'm going to try as hard as I can to take it.”