Aussies fail to deliver in round two

Wildcards Olivia Gadecki, Rinky Hijikata, John Millman and Jason Kubler have all been bundled out in round two at the Australian Open.

Also on this day some rain delayed matches from round one were completed with only Thanasi Kokkinakis tasting success.

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The two qualifiers, Max Purcell and Aleksander Vukic both losing tight battles.

The completed round one results were:

Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) d Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) d [Q] Max Purcell (AUS) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(11).
[Q] Brandon Holt (USA) d [Q] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

The round two matches saw mostly one-sided results against the Australians.

John Millman fought hard against (7) Daniil Medvedev, losing  7-5, 6-2, 6-2.

Rinky Hijikata was outclassed by (3) Stefanos Tsitsipas. He lost 6-3, 6-0, 6-2.

“It kind of feels like home whenever I’m back here. I’m seriously considering moving here one day,” Tsitsipas said on court about his love affair with Melbourne.

Jason Kubler put up a good fight against (18) Karen Khachanov, losing 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Khachanov was a semifinalist at the 2022 US Open.

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Kubler and Khachanov perhaps played the longest point in Australian Open history. They hit a remarkable 70 shots late in the second set with Kubler winning the point when his shot clipped the net cord and trickled over.

The rally included 55 backhands, leaving just 14 forehands and one serve. It came at 5-4, 30-40 on Khachanov’s serve and saw Kubler break to go 5-5 before winning the set.

“I’m still trying to get the experience against these top guys. Tonight I’m definitely going to look back as a good match and have good memories from it,” Kubler said.

“This is the first time that I feel like in best-of-five, I got a set off one of the top guys. I feel like I’m improving, and each day I’m going to go out there on the practice court and keep trying to get better.”

“To be honest, (I’m) pretty exhausted,” Kubler said after the match. “Exhausted in a good way, though, because I felt like I left it all out there.”

Olivia Gadecki failed to deliver against Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk. The Australian had 28 unforced errors to 10 from Kostyuk.

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As a 15-year-old Kostyuk won through qualifying to take her place in the 2018 Australian Open main draw, which she then took advantage of, reaching the third round losing to countrywoman Elina Svitolina.

On day four we see the bottom half of the second round matches.

In the men’s singles Alex de Minaur faces world no. 45 from France, Adrian Mannarino. Alex Popyrin plays (8) Taylor Fritz and Thanasi Kokkinakis takes on world no. 66 Andy Murray.

The sole remaining Australian women, Kimberly Birrell plays rising star Linda Fruhvirtova who at 17-years-old already has a WTA250 title to her name.

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