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Aussies determined to continue winning runs at Australian Open 2023 | 18 January, 2023 | All News | News and Features | News and Events

Aussies determined to continue winning runs at Australian Open 2023 | 18 January, 2023 | All News | News and Features | News and Events

Melbourne, Australia, 18 January 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Aussie hopes Rinky Hijikata, Olivia Gadecki, John Millman and Jason Kubler are making the most of their wildcards at Australian Open 2023.

All upset higher-ranked opponents to advance to the second round in singles and hope to continue their winning runs on day three at Melbourne Park.

“I’m proud of myself. I wasn’t sure last year if I’d be in this sort of situation,” beamed Kubler after his first-round win against world No.44 Sebastian Baez on Monday.

The 29-year-old is in the best form of his career and thrilled to be progressing beyond the opening round at Melbourne Park for a first time.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Hijikata and 20-year-old Gadecki are enjoying unforgettable main-draw debuts at their home Grand Slam.

“I’ve dreamt about it my whole life, and to really live it is just a whole other feeling,” said Gadecki.

Hijikata is now set to compete at Rod Laver Arena for the first time this evening, where he’ll face world No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“These are the ones you dream of playing when you are a kid and why you work so hard,” said Hijikata. “I’m going to go out there and give it a massive crack.”

It will be a big day at Melbourne Park, with rain-delayed first-round singles matches to complete, as well as the start of the men’s and women’s doubles competitions. The jam-packed schedule features 17 Australian players.

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Aussies in action:

Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Men’s singles, first round, Kia Arena, second match (not before 12.30pm AEDT)
Kokkinakis has made an impressive start in his seventh Australian Open main-draw appearance. The world No.159 resumes this rain-delayed match against Fognini, a former world No.9, in a strong position. The 26-year-old Aussie leads 6-1 6-2 4-2, with world No.57 Fognini serving at 15-40. It means Kokkinakis is just five points away from victory.
Head-to-head record: Kokkinakis leads 2-0
Last meeting: Kokkinakis won 6-4 6-3 (Geneva, May 2022)

[Q] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v [Q] Brandon Holt (USA)
Men’s singles, first round, 1573 Arena, second match (not before 12.30pm AEDT)
World No.146 Vukic is making his third consecutive main-draw appearance at his home Grand Slam. The 26-year-old from Sydney won three qualifying rounds last week without dropping a set, but is locked in a tough battle with the son of former world No.1 Tracy Austin. World No.215 Holt, a…

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