Maddison Inglis and Jason Kubler defeat former world No.1s Kristina Mladenovic and Juan Sebastian Cabal to set an all-Australian mixed doubles quarterfinal.
An all-Australian quarterfinal is guaranteed in the Australian Open 2023 mixed doubles tournament, thanks to an impressive victory from Maddison Inglis and Jason Kubler.
Inglis and Kubler combined to defeat French-Columbian duo Kristina Mladenovic and Juan Sebastian Cabal 6-4 7-5 in the second round.
It sets a meeting with either Kimberly Birrell and Rinky Hijikata or Oliva Gadecki and Marc Polmans, who meet in the second round tomorrow.
For Inglis and Kubler, victory over Mladenovic and Cabal – who have each held the world No.1 doubles ranking – followed a first-round win against No.7 seeds Alicja Rosolska and Jean-Julien Rojer, in which they saved two match points.
The Australian duo required an hour and 28 minutes to progress against Mladenovic and Cabal in an all-round comprehensive performance today.
Kubler returns to the Australian Open mixed doubles after his runner-up performance with Jaimee Fourlis last year.
Inglis is providing an equally accomplished playing partner, with the West Australian all composure against the Australians’ fiercely competitive opponents.
After gaining a break of the Mladenovic serve in the seventh game of the first set, Inglis and Kubler maintained their advantage to take a 6-4 lead after 32 minutes.
They struck another blow with another break of the Frenchwoman’s serve in the fourth game of the second set. While Inglis and Kubler didn’t consolidate – with Inglis dropping her own service game – they remained positive throughout the Court 7 encounter.
Confidence grew as Mladenovic again faltered on serve, with an ace from Inglis providing a trio of match points. The Columbian-French duo saved two before the Australians forced an error, booking their place in the quarterfinals.
Lizette Cabrera and John-Patrick Smith also progressed to the quarterfinals, with the all-Australian duo recording a comeback victory over Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and fellow Australian Max Purcell.
The Queenslanders recorded their 2-6 7-5 [10-7] victory in an hour and 16 minutes.
“It’s so special playing with J.P,” said Cabrera, acknowledging that Smith’s experience as a former Australian Open mixed doubles finalist (with Astra Sharma on 2019) helped her relax into the match. “When I started freeing up and making returns, it helped a lot.”
Smith acknowledged a unique partnership between the pair, who were each coached by the late Wayne Hannah.
“We have a special bond,” he said. “Grew up in the same town, Townsville. It’s great to be on court with her.”
Cabrera and Smith will meet Brazilian duo Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos in the quarterfinals.
Aussies in action – Australian Open
Mixed doubles, second round
[WC] Maddison Inglis (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) d Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)/Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) 6-4 7-5
 Gabriela Dabrowski (CAN)/Max Purcell (AUS) v [WC] Lizette Cabrera (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS)
Mixed doubles, second round
[WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS)/Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v [WC] Olivia Gadecki (AUS)/Marc Polmans (AUS)
[WC] Alana Parnaby (AUS)/Andrew Harris (AUS) v  Desirae Krawczyk (USA)/Neal Skupski (GBR)
Mixed doubles, quarterfinals
[WC] Maddison Inglis (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) v TBC
[WC] Lizette Cabrera (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) v Luisa Stefani (BRA) /Rafael Matos (BRA)
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