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Only 5 Aussies out of a possible 15 progressed in doubles on Thursday, many at the expense of other Aussies.

In his last-ever Australian Open, cult hero, John Millman toughed out a tight, three-set win with partner, Edward Winters over fellow Aussie, Marcus Daniell and Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6. 

The 34-year-old Millman, unfortunately, didn’t gain a wildcard nor did he qualify for the men’s singles main draw, but the veteran clearly wants to go out with a bang in doubles.

Millman and 19-year-old debutant, Winters will now face world No.4 Matt Ebden and 43-year-old doubles legend, Rohan Bopanna who narrowly edged out James Duckworth and Marc Polmans, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 

Elsewhere, 2017 doubles champion, John Peers partnered with Finnish player, Harri Heliövaara, to defeat Alex Bolt and Luke Saville, 6-3, 7-6 while another pair of Aussie wildcards, Adam Walton and Tristan Schoolkate, lost a heartbreaking three-set battle after holding a match point.

On the women’s side, Erin Routliffe won her first-round match with Canadian, Gabriela Dabrowski 6-1, 7-5 against Ashlyn Krueger and Linda Fruhvirtova, while seventh seeds, Ellen Perez and American, Nicole Melichar-Martinez bowed out 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 to Zhu Lin and Wu Fang-hsien.

A further twenty-seven Aussies are in action today, in men’s, women’s and the commencement of mixed doubles, after rain delays have held up play on the last two days.

Highlights include the Millman/Winters Vs. (2) Ebden/Bopanna encounter on Kia Arena, while defending champions Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler will kick off their campaign at 11am against fellow Aussie, Chris O’Connell and Laslo Djere on the rowdy Court 3.

Top-ranked Aussie woman, Arina Rodionova, will also feature in both doubles and mixed doubles, despite not qualifying for the singles main draw.


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