Purcell Earns Spot In Australian Open Main Draw
Gulbis also through to main draw in Melbourne
Australian Max Purcell reached a career milestone at the Australian Open on Friday, qualifying for his first Grand Slam main draw with a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Jozef Kovalik.
The Sydney native, who edged back-to-back three-set matches to reach the final qualifying round, landed 24 winners and converted four break points to cruise into his first major championship after 72 minutes. Purcell entered the tournament with one win from seven previous Grand Slam qualifying encounters.
Joining Purcell in the main draw will be Ernests Gulbis, who defeated Prajnesh Gunneswaran 7-6(2), 6-2 in 80 minutes. Gulbis will be making his 10th appearance in the main draw at the first Grand Slam of the season, where he has reached the second round on two occasions.
Norbert Gombos did not drop a set through his three qualifying matches, booking his spot with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Pedja Krstin. Gombos will be joined in the main draw by Peter Gojowczyk, who landed 21 winners to defeat Constant Lestienne 6-2, 6-3 in 65 minutes.
In second-round action, top seed Dennis Novak beat Filip Horansky 6-1, 6-4 to move one win away from a place in the main draw. Novak, who cracked the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday, will meet Hiroki Moriya of Japan. Moriya overcame 23rd seed Steven Diez 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 37 minutes.
Kimmer Coppejans moved past third seed Brayden Schnur of Canada 7-6(3), 6-3. The 25-year-old will meet Christopher Eubanks in the final qualifying round.
Fellow Top 5 seeds Emil Ruusuvuori and Andrej Martin were also defeated. Elliot Benchetrit outlasted fourth seed Ruusuvuori 6-4, 0-6, 7-6(3), while Mathias Bourgue edged fifth seed Martin 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-5.