Marc Polmans and Philip Sekulic advance to the second round of Zhuhai and Chengdu respectively, as Australian men continue career-best seasons in China.
A string of Australian men are building on career-best seasons as ATP tournaments resume in China.
Nine Australians are currently ranked inside the world’s top 100, with others inspired to follow in their path – four Australians qualified for tournaments in Zhuhai and Chengdu.
Philip Sekulic, one of those qualifiers, made the most of his first ATP-level main draw appearance in Chengdu, recording an eye-opening upset.
There were multiple Australian winners as first round main-draw marches were completed in Zhuhai.
In an all-Australian showdown, Marc Polmans defeated Dane Sweeny 6-3 6-1, in the opening round of the main draw.
The 26-year-old, who is currently ranked No.152, secured his first ATP-level win since his first-round Wimbledon triumph in 2021.
“It’s not always easy to play against someone you know so well and you train and practise with,” Polmans explained.
“I knew it was going to be a tricky match playing against Dane. We’ve already played three times this year so I’m happy I was able to get the win this time.”
Both Australians completed successful qualifying campaigns in Zhuhai, along with Alex Bolt and Luke Saville.
Polmans will now face the No.2 seed Cameron Norrie in what will be a milestone match in his career.
“It will be the first time I’m playing against someone in the top 20, so I’m very excited to get out there,” Polmans said.
Bolt also advanced to the second round after Diego Schwartzman retired with injury in the second set with the Australian leading 6-3 4-2.
“I think all of us were glad to be playing here and think we all feel really good on the courts, which is showing,” Polmans added.
“I really enjoy having the Aussie boys around.”
Rinky Hijikata is also in the main draw having qualified by virtue of his career-high No.72 ranking.
Philip Sekulic made his ATP main-draw debut a memorable one, with a 7-5 5-7 6-3 upset over Nuno Borges of Portugal at the Chengdu 250 tournament.
After his first successful ATP Tour qualifying run, Sekulic battled for two hours and 35 minutes to record his first victory in dramatic fashion over the world No.88 in the first round.
The 20-year-old from Subiaco, Western Australia, is currently ranked No.325 and it was his first time facing a player in the top 100.
Sekulic’s list of milestones continues to grow, as he will next face world No.18 Lorenzo Musetti.
Jordan Thompson got the better of his doubles partner and fellow Sydneysider Max Purcell 6-2 7-6, in Chengdu’s opening round.
A strong first set from Thompson saw him contend seven break points on the Purcell serve, where he capitalised on two of them.
He will now face Serbian world No.52 Dusan Lajovic for a place in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Chris O’Connell claimed his 17th match win of the year to advance to the second round at the Chengdu, China ATP 250.
O’Connell defeated qualifier Alibek Kachmazov 7-6 6-4 to set up a meeting with world No.95 Taro Daniel from Japan.
Li Tu scored a place in the main draw as a lucky loser, and put up a strong performance against world No.67 Arthur Rinderknec but fell short in two tiebreak sets.
For full results and schedule on Australians competing in Zhuhai and Chengdu, visit ATPTour.com.
Storm Hunter continues her stellar run of doubles form alongside Belgian Elise Mertens, with the pair winning their second-round match in the WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The No.1 seeds prevailed 6-2 6-2 against the strong combination of American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Kristina Mladenovic of France.
Next up, Hunter and Mertens will face Alexa Guarachi of Chile and Monica Niculescu of Romania – the pair received a walkover in the second round.
For full results and schedule on Australians competing in Guadalajara, visit WTATennis.com.
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