Six Australians have qualified for the Wimbledon main draw for the first time in 27 years, capping off a historic week for Australian tennis at Roehampton.
With Jason Kubler, Max Purcell, Zoe Hives, Astra Sharma, Jaimee Fourlis and Maddison Inglis all qualifying, it marks the first time since 1995 that six Australians have qualified for the Wimbledon main draw and the first time since 1983 that four Australian women have qualified for the Wimbledon main draw.
29-year-old Jason Kubler was the first Australian to book his place in the main draw at The All England Club, claiming a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Sweden’s Elias Ymer in two hours and six minutes on Court 6.
Kubler fired ten aces and 31 winners past Ymer, and also won 43/53 points on his first serve in an impressive serving display.
“It feels great, especially the last round of qualies being five sets as well. It sort of has that extra special feel to it, so yeah, I’m super, super happy,” Kubler told wimbledon.com
“We have a good group of friends. I was lucky enough to be the hitting partner of the Davis Cup team earlier in the year.
“That sort of bond we created there helped me wanting to play the same tournaments as them, so luckily now after this match I'm in the main draw with them.”
The win extends Kubler’s remarkable 2022 win/loss record to 35/10, which has included qualifying for the French Open main draw last month and rising over 100 spots in the ATP Rankings to rejoin the top 100.
It will be Kubler’s second main draw appearance at Wimbledon after he qualified back in 2018.
The second Aussie to qualify was Sydneysider Max Purcell, who came from a set and a break down to defeat Portugal’s Nuno Borges 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-6(5), qualifying for his maiden Wimbledon main draw.
“I haven’t been playing a whole lot of singles this year, so to get three matches in at Wimbledon and play my first ever singles is unreal, I can’t believe it,” Purcell told wimbledon.com
Purcell hit a whopping 51 winners to go with 78% of points won on his first serve. The dynamic Aussie, whose game suits the grass, will be someone whom players will hope not to come up against in the first round of the main draw.
The first of four Aussie women to qualify on Thursday at Roehampton was Zoe Hives.
The 25-year-old secured her spot in her maiden Wimbledon main draw when her opponent - fellow Aussie Priscilla Hon withdrew from the match with an injury.
Hives has endured a horror run with illness and injury since her first career major main draw appearance at the Australian Open in 2019, where she won her first round match. The Victorian has spent the majority of the last three years on the sidelines, with this breakthrough a major step forward in her comeback story.
Astra Sharma came from a set down to claim a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Andorra’s Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva, becoming the fourth Aussie to qualify on Thursday at Roehampton.
Sharma made the most of her chances, converting on six of eight break point opportunities to claim an impressive come-from-behind victory.
The win confirms a third consecutive Wimbledon main draw appearance for the West Australian, but this time round is extra special, being the first time she’s successfully navigated her way through qualifying to secure a main draw spot.
“Last year I got to the final round and then lost after being a set and a break up and it was pretty heartbreaking,” Sharma told wimbledon.com.
“This time I just wanted to come out and not worry about the result and just try and do the things I’ve been working on and the rest can take care of itself.
“It was such a good match, with the heat and everything. It became a little bit fitness-related so, yeah, it was good.”
22-year-old Jaimee Fourlis kept the incredible momentum going for the Aussies by qualifying for her maiden Wimbledon main draw, with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Frenchwoman Jessika Ponchet.
The Victorian gave Ponchet very little to work with, dominating from the baseline with 24 winners and just 11 unforced errors.
The win caps off an outstanding week for Fourlis, who saved two match points to get through her first round qualifying match and defeated 2020 French Open semifinalist Nadia Podoroska in her second round match.
Fourlis came into the 2022 season at 329 in the rankings and has surged up to 153 in the ranks, winning 15 of her last 16 matches, contributing to a 36/13 win/loss record this year.
The last Aussie to qualify was West Australian Maddison Inglis, who beat Serb Natalija Stevanovic 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-2 to book her place in her maiden Wimbledon main draw.
The 24-year-old impressed in a big way, hitting 47 winners and winning 71% of net points to claim victory.
21-year-old Aussie Rinky Hijikata went down in a devastating defeat to German Nicola Kuhn 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-7(4).
Main draw action at The All England Club kicks off on Monday, with 15 Australians in main draw action.