Aussie aces give Australia golden French Open begin


Impressed wildcards Thanasi Kokkinakis and Storm Hunter and jubilant Jason Kubler have given Australia a flying begin to the French Open with rousing first-round victories in Paris.

Hunter continued her magical run from qualifying with a 4-6 6-2 6-4 defeat of higher-ranked Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Diaz to ignite Australia’s 2023 marketing campaign.

Kokkinakis then showcased his large recreation with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over British twentieth seed Dan Evans earlier than the resurgent Kubler accomplished Australia’s banner first day with a tenacious five-set triumph.

The previous world No.1 junior battled away for nearly three and a half hours to see off Argentine qualifying fortunate loser Facundo Diaz Acosta 1-6 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-1 to provide Australia an unlikely three-from-three begin on the yr’s second grand slam.

The injury-plagued Kokkinakis blasted winner after winner to notch his first win at Roland Garros since reaching the third spherical as a young person again in 2015 for his thus-far finest grand-slam end result but.

Assured a return to the world’s prime 100, the 27-year-old Kokkinakis may have the prospect to equal that last-32 grand slam displaying on Wednesday in opposition to both Switzerland’s 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka or Spanish veteran Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Hunter earlier on day one additionally made a mockery of her lowly rating to document her maiden grand-slam main-draw victory.

The 28-year-old rallied from a service break down within the deciding set to affix Sophie Ferguson (2010) as solely the second Australian girl to progress to the second spherical at Roland Garros as a qualifier.

Hunter had fallen within the first spherical of all seven of her earlier grand-slam main-draw appearances – 5 occasions on the Australian Open and on the 2021 French and US Opens.

However the unsung hero of Australia’s cost to the ultimate of final yr’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals groups’ occasion as soon as once more rose to the event.

“It was actually a fantastic match and I’m simply so comfortable to win my first match in a slam,” Hunter stated. “It’s actually superb.”

Ranked 110 locations beneath Parrizas Diaz at world No.204, Hunter refused to throw within the towel after surrendering a 4-2 result in drop the primary set after dropping 4 straight video games.

She had fought desperately to say the primary service break of the match on her fifth alternative within the sixth recreation, earlier than briefly dropping her means.

Staying cool, Hunter broke Parrizas Diaz within the fourth recreation of the second set with a sequence of forceful forehands earlier than levelling the match at one set apiece.

She trailed 4-2 within the deciding set however once more rallied with some do-or-die groundstrokes from the again to safe her breakthrough win in two hours and 10 minutes.

Hunter’s reward is a second-round conflict with both newly-crowned Stuttgart champion and one-time world No.3 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine or Italian twenty sixth seed Martina Trevisan.

However Kim Birrell fell painfully in need of changing her wildcard entry right into a second-round foray, dropping 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 to Frenchwoman Leolia Jeanjean.