Eight is great as Aussies get off to storming start

Alexei Popyrin and James Duckworth have led a charge of eight Australian men into the second round of Wimbledon qualifying at Roehampton.

Aussie No.6 Popyrin easily dispatched Argentine Federico Coria 6-2 7-5, while Duckworth beat local hopeful Jan Choinski 6-1 7-5 at the Bank of England Sports Centre.

Spain-based Popyrin hadn't played on grass for three years before this year, but he says he's starting to get the hang of the softer surface.


Alexei Popyrin is making great progres towards a Wimbledon main draw berth.
Alexei Popyrin is making great progres towards a Wimbledon main draw berth.

"Last time I played on grass was 2016 juniors," he said.

"Got to get the hang of moving a little bit on it, slipped a couple of times. But I like the grass, I think it suits my game pretty well."

Duckworth hopes to do even better when he plays Croatian Vitor Galovic in the second round.

"There's a lot of things I still need (to do) to get better - I do feel like though the last probably three weeks I've started to play a lot better," the Aussie No.9 said.

"(I) played a couple of good matches last week in Ilkley and I'm hoping to improve every match."

Five other Australians will join the pair in the next round, with four of them enjoying straight sets victories.

Australian No.10 Jason Kubler beat Swiss ace Henri Laaksonen 6-2 5-7 7-5, while Marc Polmans dispatched Egyptian Mohamed Safwat 6-1 6-3 to book a date with South Korean Kwon Soonwoo in the second round.

Compatriot John-Patrick Smith cruised past Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-3 6-4 to set up a clash with Italian Salvatore Caruso.


James Duckworth looked good in his opening win.
James Duckworth looked good in his opening win.

Akira Santillan beat Austrian Jurij Rodionov 6-3 6-1 to book a match with Belgian Ruben Bemelmans.

Andrew Harris, in his bid for a maiden appearance at Wimbledon, will play Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhosky after easing past Spaniard Enrique Lopez Perez 6-2 7-5.

"I really want to do well," Harris said.

"So it was more just about staying in the moment and controlling my emotions and I think I did that really well today and stayed really relaxed and played well."

Alex Bolt survived a marathon qualification slog with Italian Jannik Sinner before winning 2-6 7-5 12-10.

News Corp Australia