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Qualies Corner: Brown, Pironkova Approaching Melbourne Main Draw | TENNIS.com

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The second qualifying round of the Australian Open was in full swing on Tuesday, as all winners of the first two action days fought when the fields were each reduced to 32 players.

On the men’s side, perennial crowd favorite Dustin Brown upset No. 22 seed Carlos Taberner, 6-3, 7-5, in Doha, putting him one win away from his first Australian Open main draw since 2018. Most known for its daring trick shots and the stunning Wimbledon win over Rafael Nadal, the German-Jamaican veteran who has fought for consistency in recent years, currently No. 261, well off his career-high of No. 64.

Between him and the main tournament stands American Maxime Cressy, who turned a set down into a rally to beat Brown’s compatriot Yannick Madden 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Bernard Tomic was equally entertaining at best, surviving a tie-break in the final set to knock out fellow Aussie Tristan Schoolkate 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 and win the extended tie-break 10- 3.

Tomic last won a Grand Slam main draw at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships and will have to beat another Australian this week in John-Patrick Smith to make it to qualifying.


Meanwhile in Dubai …

Top seed Kaja Juvan continued her march to the main tournament and eased Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina 6-2, 6-4. Kalinina took over a set from Elise Mertens at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz last fall, but was no match for Juvans’ consistency when the 20-year-old Slovenian booked a final round qualifier with the great Slovakian Rebecca Sramkova.


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Tsvetana Pironkova and Margarita Gasparyan will compete for a spot in the Australian Open draft in a battle for comeback kids. Pironkova, placed at No. 21 after returning to tennis as a mother last summer and reaching the US Open quarter-finals, shook off a second set problem to advance against South Korea’s Han Na-Lae, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1.

Gasparyan, a former world No. 41 champion, was more efficient against Mariam Bolkvadze, beating the Georgian in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Inspirational stories abound in the women’s draw as Ana Konjuh, former Top 20 star and 2016 US Open quarter-finalist, is one win by returning to the Grand Slam spotlight after a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Cagla Buyukakcay from Turkey.

Konjuh, who won the Australian Open and US Open junior titles in 2013, has dealt with an inordinate number of injuries in her professional career, requiring four elbow surgeries that sidelined her in the past 18 months.

Her path won’t get any easier in the next round when she faces former French Open finalist Sara Errani; Italian veteran Georgina Garcia Perez survived 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 for her second consecutive win with three sets.


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Best of the rest

Former World No. 12 Viktor Troicki kept a return to the main draw close at hand with a 7-5, 6-3 win over American Ulises Blanch, and will face No. 11 seed Cedrik-Marcel Stebe on Wednesday after the German expelled Aussie Rinky Hijikata, 6-4, 6-2.

Dutch veteran Robin Haase backed up his win over No. 6 seed Thiago Seyboth Wild and made it to the final round after beating Italian Gian Marco Moroni 6-4, 7-5 and meeting Quentin Halys safely on Wednesday suggested.

Eugenie Bouchard failed to sustain her solid win on Monday and bowed to China Yuan Yue for qualifying. The Canadian has only played one Grand Slam main tournament since 2019, falling in the final qualifying round of the Australian Open last year.

American Whitney Osuigwe managed to maintain her momentum with a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Olivia Gadecki. At just 18 years old, Osuigwe is aiming for her third major main draw, and the first since 2019.




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