In-form Thanasi Kokkinakis and world No.1 Ash Barty are among six Australians beginning their Australian Open 2022 singles campaigns today.
Top seed Ash Barty headlines the action on day one at Australian Open 2022.
The world No.1 is among six Australian players competing in first-round singles matches at Melbourne Park, as the first Grand Slam tournament of the season hits off.
“I’m excited to be back home in Australia, excited to be back playing,” Barty said.
“Obviously it was really nice to get a few matches in Adelaide last week and kind of roll on some momentum and know that I’m coming in here playing well.
“(I’m) just chomping at the bit to get after it.”
Thanasi Kokkinakis is also riding a wave of positive momentum after capturing his first ATP singles title at Adelaide on Saturday evening.
“Hopefully now it’s a sign that I can keep going,” the Aussie wildcard said. “(It) gives me obviously a lot more motivation as well. I don’t want to stop here.”
Aussies in action:
[WC] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v  Lloyd Harris (RSA)
Men’s singles, first round, Court 3, first match (from 11am AEDT)
Vukic makes his second Australian Open main draw appearance at a career-high ranking of No.160 and with brimming confidence after reaching a first ATP quarterfinal in Adelaide last week. The 25-year-old Aussie is looking to score a second career top-50 win when he takes on world No.32 Harris. The 24-year-old South African reached the AO 2021 third round and climbed almost 60 ranking places last year in a career-best season.
Head-to-head record: First meeting
James Duckworth (AUS) v Adrian Mannarino (FRA)
Men’s singles, first round, Court 7, second match
Duckworth is making his 10th AO main draw appearance – and first as a top 50-ranked player. After a confidence-lifting career-best season in 2021, the world No.49 will rate his chances against 33-year-old Mannarino. The left-handed Frenchman has been ranked as high as No.22, however has lost seven of his past nine matches and is currently ranked No.70. They have split their previous meetings, which were both played on grass.
Head-to-head record: Tied at 1-all
Last meeting: Duckworth won 6-3 6-2 (Stuttgart, 2021)
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v [Q] Yannick Hanfmann (GER)
Men’s singles, first round, Court 3, fourth match (not before 5pm AEDT)
Kokkinakis is in sensational form, winning eight of his nine matches so far this season and capturing his first ATP singles title. The newly-crowned Adelaide International champion now meets 30-year-old German qualifier Hanfmann, who is ranked No.126 and seeking his first Grand Slam main draw win. This is world No.145 Kokkinakis’ sixth AO main draw and the 25-year-old is hoping to advance to the second round for the fourth time.
Head-to-head record: First meeting
 Ash Barty (AUS) v [Q] Lesia Tsurenko (UKR)
Women’s singles, first round, Rod Laver Arena, night session, first match (from 7pm AEDT)
Barty, who won the Adelaide International singles and doubles titles earlier this month, begins her ninth Australian Open campaign against a familiar opponent. The 25-year-old from Queensland faces world No.119 Tsurenko, a Ukrainian qualifier who she beat in three sets at this same stage two years ago. The 32-year-old Tsurenko has been ranked as high as world No.23 and was a US Open quarterfinalist in 2018.
Head-to-head record: Barty leads 2-1
Last meeting: Barty won 5-7 6-1 6-1 (Australian Open, 2020)
John Millman (AUS) v Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Men’s singles, first round, Margaret Court Arena, night session, first match (from 7pm AEDT)
World No.80 Millman is making his eighth AO main draw appearance and looking to improve on a 4-3 win-loss record in first-round matches at Melbourne Park. Persistence has been a defining quality of the 32-year-old Australian’s career, and the same could be said of his first-round opponent. The 40-year-old Lopez, ranked No.104, is contesting a record 79th consecutive Grand Slam tournament and making his 20th AO appearance.
Head-to-head record: Millman leads 1-0
Last meeting: Millman won 6-7(4) 7-6(2) 6-3 (Montreal, 2019)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v  Paula Badosa (ESP)
Women’s singles, first round, Margaret Court Arena, night session, second match
Tomljanovic enjoyed a stellar season in 2021, with a Wimbledon quarterfinal run a highlight. The world No.43’s first-round opponent also had an impressive year, rising more than 60 ranking places to world No.6. “She’s playing really great tennis,” Tomljanovic said of Badosa. This is a rematch of a second-round clash at last week’s Sydney Tennis Classic, where 24-year-old Badosa won in two tight sets and went on to win the title.
Head-to-head record: Badosa leads 1-0
Last meeting: Badosa won 6-3 6-4 (Sydney, 2022)
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