Misc Tennis

Hunter celebrates singles breakthrough at Australian Open 2024 | 15 January, 2024 | All News | News and Features | News and Events

Hunter celebrates singles breakthrough at Australian Open 2024 | 15 January, 2024 | All News | News and Features | News and Events

Australian Storm Hunter powers into the second round of an Australian Open singles draw for the first time in her career.

Melbourne, Australia, 15 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

A decade has passed since Storm Hunter made her Grand Slam main-draw singles debut at the Australian Open.

In that time, a lot has happened. There’s been career-threatening injuries, extended stints on the sidelines and even a brief retirement from singles.

The 29-year-old has, of course, thrived in doubles in recent seasons. She is a US Open champion, a Wimbledon finalist and the reigning world No.1.

Determined to prove herself as a singles contender too, Hunter’s patience and hard work is finally paying off.

The world No.180, who earned her spot in the main-draw as a qualifier, recorded her first Australian Open main-draw singles win today.

In her sixth main-draw appearance at her home Grand Slam, Hunter made her long-awaited breakthrough with a 6-4 6-3 triumph against Italian Sara Errani.

“It means everything,” Hunter beamed.

“I grew up watching the Australian Open and dreaming of playing here. I’ve had a lot of opportunities. I’m a little bit older, so I’ve played a few main draws and never got the win.

“To come through qualifying and win my first round in singles, it’s a dream come true. I’ve kind of been waiting for it for a few years, so very happy to get it done here today.”

Errani, currently ranked No.101, is a former world No.5 and Roland Garros finalist. Her best Australian Open result was reaching the quarterfinals in 2012.

The 36-year-old Errani is also an accomplished doubles player, winning five Grand Slam titles and peaking at world No.1.

It was Hunter who dictated their 89-minute encounter though, striking 44 winners to Errani’s 19.

This effort propels Hunter into a second-round showdown with either 17th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova or Germany’s Laura Siegemund.

“I’m just enjoying every moment out here,” Hunter said.

“To be able to do it in singles as well, it means I have a big schedule now – singles, doubles and mixed. But bring it on, it’s a lot of fun.”

> BUY NOW: Australian Open 2024 tickets

Aussies in action – Australian Open

Women’s singles, first round
[Q] Storm Hunter (AUS) d Sara Errani (ITA) 6-4 6-3
[19] Elina Svitolina (UKR) d [WC] Taylah Preston (AUS) 6-2 6-2

Women’s singles, first round
[WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v [11] Jelena Ostapenko…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Tennis.com.au – Tennis Australia…