All the second round matches of Australian Open 2023 qualifying are completed today. 16 pairings for both women and men are emerged for tomorrow's final matches, which will emerge the qualifiers for the main draw of opening Grand Slam of the season.
The final round will miss a few of notable names after today's action, which was full of exciting moments and a couple of upsets as well.
Sara Bejlek - 16 years old ranked #175 from Czech Republic made a huge upset on Alycia Parks - the American, who was a member of the team which won the United Cup last week. Parks, who was a favorite of this match, was a set and break up, letting go score which set her up on an easy road to the qualies final. Young Czech managed to overturn the match and won in the decisive set, 5-7 6-4 6-2.
Czech youngsters are showing up some great performance in the recent, which foreshadows a brilliant future for this country, not a long time to wait since now. Brenda Fruhvirtova, 15 y/o, recognised as the one of the biggest talents in women's tennis, performed an amazing comeback in her QR2 match against Daria Snigur from Ukraine. Fruhvitova came back from the score 5-7 1-5 (!). The Czech has won 5 consecutive games, forcing a tie-break in second set. Despiting a huge dissapointment, the Ukrainian worked out another advantage in the decidier, leading with a break twice, but she has no way to capitalize on that while losing the last 4 games. 5-7 7-6 6-3 for Fruhvirtova who is just one step away from her maiden Grand Slam main draw appearance.
Rebeka Masarova was one of the names of the last week's tournaments. The Spaniard advanced to the final of WTA 250 in Auckland, defeated there by Cori Gauff. This career's best result advanced Masarova to a top 100 for the first time in career. She will not continue her dream run in the upcoming AO though, while she got upseted by Lucrezia Stefanini (ranked #141). Masarova was a huge favorite with an average odd 1.17. She was the clearest favorite in all the women's qualies matches today. The play has started as expected with easy 6-1 set win for Spaniard. Since then, she did not find a way to move in front again, losing three consecutive service games in both sets.
Katie Boutler has also not capitalized on her great run of form from the recent days. The Brit who won the W60 tournament in Canberra last week and prevailed a difficult match against Caroline Dolehide in QR1, lost very easily against Polina Kudermetova, 19 y/o Russian (ranked #182). She was also quite a favorite in this match with an odd 1.25.
Men's qualies R2 delivered a few interesting matchups on the card. Michael Mmoh eliminated Benoit Paire in two sets 6-4 7-6. The Frenchman, who struggles with his form since a couple of time, needed to enter the qualies draw to have a chance for a main draw appearance. 33 y/o Paire, who was a constant participant of Grand Slams in previous years is now ranked as low as #172 and he was nor seeded in qualies, neither even the favorite against Mmoh, who showed a solid performance and will face local player Aleksandar Vukic in a showdown for a place in main draw.
Final round of men's qualies will take place without the top seed, same as on women's side. Alejandro Tabilo did not find a way to fight properly with Sebastian Ofner, losing with Austrian 4-6 6-7.
Another exciting pairing and interesting match as well, was played between Fernando Verdasco and Shang Juncheng - 17 years old player from China (#194). Young Chinese prevailed his very experienced opponent and stays in front of a decent chance of qualifying to the main draw, facing Zsombor Piros (#171) from Hungary in the final round.
Thursday will be a day full of emotions in Melbourne. 16 decisive matches in both qualies draw take place during the day, and main draw will be revealed at 4:00 am (GMT time).