Chinese Taipei’s Jimmy Wang sparked scenes of jubilation on Saturday at Melbourne Park, with the 28-year-old advancing to his first Australian Open main draw in eight years with a straight-sets defeat of American Daniel Kosakowski in the third round of qualifying.
Wang, the world No. 174 who was born in Saudi Arabia, sent a jam-packed crowd on Court 10 into raptures with the hard-fought 7-6(7) 6-3 victory, a result that saw him make the main draw for the first time since 2006, when he advanced to the second round before being ousted by Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen.
Saturday was a good day for veterans at Melbourne Park, with 33-year-old German Michael Berrer also advancing to the tournament proper with a 7-5 6-1 win against Frenchman Stephane Robert.
After a tight first set, the German made light work of seventh-seeded Robert in the second set, proving his worth among the best of the Australian Open qualifiers. The win grants Berrer entry into his sixth Australian Open, and his first since 2011.
Berrer is now one of 10 Germans competing in the Australian Open men’s singles championship, with another, Peter Gojowczyk, advancing through qualifying by comfortably defeating Italy’s Flavio Cipolla.
Serving well and displaying confident groundstrokes, the German raced through his third match at Melbourne Park without being broken in 56 minutes.
Seeded 16th, Gojowczyk nailed five aces his 6-2 6-3 victory, his fastest serve recorded at 211km/h.
Austrian 20-year-old Dominic Thiem also used power to propel his charge into the main draw, blasting a 215km/h first serve in dismissing second seed Martin Klizan of Slovakia 6-2 7-5.
Thiem advanced to an Australian Open main draw for the first time with the victory, while Klizan made 31 unforced errors to 18 to be the architect of his own downfall.
It was a similar story for Alex Kuznetsov, who let his own unforced errors almost gift fellow American Denis Kudla their match on Show Court 3.
Kuznetsov, who was leading 4-0 in the first set, let Kudla back into the match by relinquishing the following six games. Clearly rattled, Kuznetsov struggled with his serve after that, and failed to regain the form he had early in the match.
Kudla, seeded fourth, ran away with a 6-4 6-2 victory, and will compete in his second Australian Open.
Another American joining him in the main draw was 19th seed Wayne Odesnik, who outlasted Spain’s Adrian Menendez-Maceiras in a marathon three-setter.
Odesnik broke first in the match, and with Menendez-Maceiras seeming somewhat uneasy, the American charged ahead to take the first set 6-3. Menendez-Maceiras fought back in the second set to win it 6-2, sending the match to an exciting decider.
Odesnik broke twice in the final set, winning the match 6-3 2-6 6-8 in two hours and 13 minutes.