Wimbledon qualifying wrapped-up at the Bank of England Tennis centre in Roehampton. After eight Australian men and seven Australian women competed in round one earlier this week, just Alexei Popyrin and Arina Rodionova have advanced.
Popyrin defeated USA’s Bjorn Fratangelo in three hours and twelve minutes, the final score was 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 7-6(6).
“I think I did pretty well on my serve so that really helped. I think I was holding my serve pretty comfortably throughout the third and fourth sets. It was just a couple of points here and there in both tiebreaks and in the fourth set they went my way,” Popyrin said.
“Hopefully (I can cause some damage in the main draw). I think going into any tournament I can cause damage. Especially on grass, I feel it suits my game so hopefully I can cause some damage.
“(It’s) definitely a dream come true. I did it the hard way today but definitely happy to be in the main draw.”
“That wasn’t a top-spin lob – that was more of a framed lob,” he laughed.
“It’s going great (with 1987 Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash). He’s been really helpful, as you can see – I lost a couple of points at the net but I think I won most of them. So he’s definitely been helpful and it’s great to have him in my corner. And he’s just a great motivator.
“Definitely (it’s more satisfying to qualify). It feels more real; getting wildcards to Aussie Open and French Open, I thought I deserved them.
“But going through qualifying, going through the hard way, I think it was a great achievement for me.”
Rodionova looked to be heading home without qualifying after losing the first set 6-0. She was, however, able to complete a remarkable turnaround taking the next two sets 6-1, 6-1 to be the lone Australian woman to qualify.
The Australian also staged a big comeback against Asia Muhammad fighting back from 4-1 down in the third set.
Jason Kubler lost his match against Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-3, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 and Andrew Harris lost to France’s Corentin Moutet (1) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
“I just can’t win like a normal person, I need to make some sort of drama and action. You know, (I’m) all about spectators,” Rodionova said.
“Unfortunately it’s not such an uncommon for me to lose a set easy, because I don’t have a great serve and I feel like she’s the sort of player that it doesn’t matter how big your serve is, she’s gonna get it back anyway.
“I think she started really well. I was definitely fatigued after my match and she made me get down like really low to get her shots back, her slice, especially on the forehand, like I really struggled to get it going, and just felt my hips were a little bit tight.
“Then I started telling myself that she’s probably not going to play the whole match on that level. I thought she played amazing first set and she didn’t really give me any chances, and if she plays like this the whole match, then it’s too good.
“But it’s a hard thing to do. I think I started well second set, I held my serve first game in the second set, it was a really tough game, and then I felt like she took her foot off the gas a little bit. I was pumped for that (laughter).”
Rodionova will be playing at Wimbledon for the second time after also reaching the main draw through qualifying in 2017 before losing in the second round.
James Duckworth d Jan Choinski GBR 6-1, 7-5. R2 lost to Viktor Galovic CRO 3-6, 6-3, 11-9
Marc Polmans d Mohamed Safwat EGY 6-1, 6-3. R2 lost to Soonwoo Kwon (24) KOR 6-2, 6-2
Andrew Harris d Enrique Lopez Perez ESP 6-2, 7-5. R2 d SergiyStakhovsky (17) UKR 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Rd3 lost to Corentin Moutet (1) FRA 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
Jason Kubler d Henri Laaksonen (2) SUI 6-2,5-7, 7-5. R2 d Norbert Gombos SVK 7-6(5), 7-6(1). Rd3 lost to Yasutaka Uchiyama JPN 3-6, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3
Alexei Popyrin (4) d Federico Coria ARG 6-2, 7-5. R2 d Mats Moraing GER 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Rd3 d Bjorn Fratangelo (27) USA 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 7-6(6)
John-Patrick Smith d Nicolas Mahut FRA 6-3, 6-4. R2 lost to Salvatore Caruso (18) ITA 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Alex Bolt d Jannik Sinner ITA 2-6, 7-5, 12-10. R2 lost to Dennis Novak (14) AUT 6-4, 6-2
Akira Santillan d Jurij Rodionov 6-3, 6-1. R2 lost to Ruben Bemelmans BEL 6-7(5), 6-3, 12-10
Zoe Hives lost to Anna Blinkova (2) RUS 6-1,7-5
Destanee Aiava lost to Martina Di Giuseppe ITA 7-6(3), 6-4
Kimberly Birrell lost to Misaki Doi (4) JPN 6-1, 4-6, 7-5
Arina Rodionova d Asia Muhammad USA 7-6(6), 6(2)-7, 8-6. R2 d Misaki Doi (4) JPN 6-4, 6-2. Rd3 d Danielle Lao USA 0-6, 6-1, 6-1
Priscilla Hon (23) d Katarina Zavatska UKR 7-5, 6-3. R2 lost to Catherine McNally USA 6-4, 6-4.
Ellen Perez lost to Elena Rybakina (8) KAZ 6-1, 6-4
Kaylah Mcphee d Maia Lumsden GBR 6-4, 6-4. R2 lost to Liudmila Samsonova (31) RUS 6-2, 7-6(5)