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Sharma, McPhee gun for first Open berths

Every Australian man in Australian Open qualifying action on Wednesday lost, but emerging women Astra Sharma and Kaylah McPhee saluted at Melbourne Park.

Sharma, McPhee gun for first Open berths

Every Australian man in Australian Open qualifying action on Wednesday lost, but emerging women Astra Sharma and Kaylah McPhee saluted at Melbourne Park.

KAYLAH MCPHEE of Australia hits a forehand in her match against Kathinka von Deichmann of Liechtenstein during day two of Qualifying for the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.
KAYLAH MCPHEE of Australia hits a forehand in her match against Kathinka von Deichmann of Liechtenstein during day two of Qualifying for the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images

West Australian Astra Sharma has shocked top seed and former world No.2 Vera Zvonareva in their Australian Open qualifying round one match-up.

Sharma only turned professional midway through last year after completing five years of college in the US but routed Zvonareva, currently world No.95, 6-3 6-2.


The 23-year-old completed a medical health degree at the prestigious Vanderbilt University in Tennessee before focusing full-time on tennis.

She's now two wins away from her first major appearance, as is unheralded Queenslander Kaylah McPhee and England-born Naiktha Bains.

McPhee, a 20-year-old from Brisbane, defeated Liechtensteiner Kathinka von Deichmann 6-3 6-4 on Wednesday.

Bains joined her as one of six Australian women to win their first-round qualifying matches when she bested countrywoman Maddison Inglis 6-3 5-7 7-5.

Olivia Rogowska also took a step towards a ninth main draw appearance at Melbourne Park by beating Katarina Zavatska 6-1 6-4.

The four women joined Tuesday winners Isabelle Wallace and Lizette Cabrera to make it six from 12 Australian women through.

It was a sorry story on the men's side, with a Wednesday wipeout shattering the dreams of every local in action.

Only Thanasi Kokkinakis, who brushed aside Mohamed Safwat on Tuesday, remains in contention to reach their home major.

John-Patrick Smith missed out in qualifying for the sixth-straight time after losing to 19th seed Matthias Bachinger 7-5 6-3.

Former junior star Luke Saville's hopes of returning to the Australian Open for the first time since 2015 were laid to rest by Mats Moraing, who defeated him 6-4 7-5.

Max Purcell, Akira Santillan and Maverick Banes joined them on the scrap heap later on Wednesday in an unfortunate day for Aussies at Melbourne Park.

LOCALS IN AUSTRALIAN OPEN QUALIFYING

Winners: Men - Thanasi Kokkinakis. Women - Lizette Cabrera, Isabelle Wallace, Kaylah McPhee, Naiktha Bains, Olivia Rogowska, Astra Sharma.

Losers: Men - Blake Ellis, Rinky Hijikata, John-Patrick Smith, Aleksandar Vukic, Alexander Crnokrak, Luke Saville, Max Purcell, Akira Santillan, Maverick Banes. Women - Gabriella Da Silva Fick, Jaimee Fourlis, Abbie Myers, Arina Rodionova, Maddison Inglis, Alexandra Bozovic.

AAP


AAP




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