The second round of qualifying at the Australian Open was completed on Friday and 12 qualifiers have already grabbed a main draw spot. The remaining 20 will be decided on Saturday.
Australian Open Qualifying Day 4
The First Qualifiers
- Norbert Gombos
- Ilya Ivashka
- Max Purcell
- Peter Gojowczyk
- Ernests Gulbis
- Pedro Martinez
- Marta Trevisan
- Ann Li
- Harriet Dart
- Shelby Rogers
- Monica Niculescu
- Ludmilla Samsonova
Eugenie Bouchard‘s qualifying campaign ended in a huge disappointment. After a very solid week in Auckland, there were some hopes that the Canadian might be getting back to her best. But it wasn’t to be. In the first round, she struggled to beat You Xiaodi, before playing a superb match to beat Maddison Inglis. But she rather regressed to the mean against Martina Trevisan, who proved too solid for the Canadian in the final round of qualifying, winning 6-4 6-3.
J. J. Wolf, who entered the second round of qualifying on a 12 match winning streak, won the first set against Marco Trungelliti at a canter, losing just five points. But in the second, the Argentinian was able to start holding serve and Wolf’s momentum faded quickly. He made just 54% of his first serves and he struggled to defend his second serve. Trungelliti forced a decider, going on to complete an impressive 0-6 7-6 (5) 7-5 comeback win.
Emil Ruusuvuori also fell to a big upset, losing to Frenchman Eliot Benchetrit. The Finn had seemed to be almost a lock to qualify after his recent successes on the ATP Challenger Tour, but he fell short, despite almost completing a stunning comeback. He rallied from 2-4 0-40 down in the third, saving two match points, to set up a deciding tiebreak. But the Frenchman gave nothing away when it mattered most to advance a 6-4 0-6 7-6 (3) winner.
Top seed and recent top 100 debutant, Dennis Novak has continued his fantastic form at Melbourne Park. The Austrian, who defeated Guido Pella at the ATP Cup, dispatched Filip Horansky 6-1 6-4 in a little over an hour. He’ll now face Hiroki Moriya for a spot in the main draw.
Last year’s junior’s champion, Lorenzo Musetti, meanwhile, came back from a 2-5 deficit in the decider to stun Marius Copil 6-7 6-4 7-5. The 17-year-old may well fancy his chances when he faces the Dutch journeyman Tallon Griekspoor on Saturday.
Ernests Gulbis and Peter Gojowczyk have seen their careers stall recently, well Gulbis not that recently, but they were both able to secure a spot in the main draw. The Latvian came through a tight first set against Prajnesh Gunneswaran, before pulling away in the second to win 7-6 6-2. Gojowczyk, in contrast, dominated Constant Lestienne throughout, breaking six times in the Frenchman’s service nine games to record a 6-2 6-3 win.
After hammering former-top 30 star Urszula Radwanska, Johanna Larsson delivered another big performance. The Swede is usually at her best on clay but she’s been shining Down Under so far, defeating Mandy Minella 6-3 6-2. But Larsson will next face a very tough opponent – third seed Varvara Gracheva.
Max Purcell qualified with a great win over Jozef Kovalik, while Rinky Hijikata came up just short against Tallon Griekspoor. Hijikata went toe-to-toe with the Dutchman for the majority of the match but was outplayed in the latter parts of both sets to lose 5-7 5-7.
Storm Sanders was the only Australian woman playing on Friday and she lost 0-2 6-2 3-6 to 18th seed Kaja Juvan.
Match of the day
Musetti beating Copil was surely the match of the day. There was no shortage of drama when the young gun took on the veteran, with Musetti’s stunning comeback perhaps one of the highlights of the entire qualifying tournament. The 17-year-old’s mentality was a little suspect after he lost the first set in a closely-contested tiebreak and he was also broken when serving for the second set. But the Italian showed great composure to nick the last five games and take the match 6-7 (6) 6-4 7-5.
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