Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis, Max Purcell, Jordan Thompson and have won through qualifying to reach the main draw of the ATP 1000 Cincinnati Masters.
The 86th-ranked Kokkinakis dug deep in a second set tiebreaker to score a tough three-set win over Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan, 5-7 7-6 (9-7) 6-2, and will meet world No.17 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
With the start to the US Open at Flushing Meadows just a fortnight away, the 78th-ranked Purcell upset 56th-ranked countryman Alexei Popyrin 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 6-4 in just less than three hours to book a first-round match with South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, who’s ranked 188th.
Thompson, ranked 55 and seeded fourth in the qualifying draw, beat 88th-ranked Swiss Marc-Andrea Huesler 6-3 6-4 to seal a first-round meeting with John Isner, the 208cm, 38-year-old American veteran who gained a wildcard entry to the hardcourt tournament.
Alex de Minaur completes the four-man Australian contingent, with the world No.12 to play 43rd-ranked American JJ Wolf in the opening round.
As first round action began on Sunday, 10th seed Frances Tiafoe of the US overcame Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-4 6-7 (7-9) 6-4, while Ben Shelton beat fellow American Christopher Eubanks 5-7 6-4 6-4 to seal a round-of-32 match against fourth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“I’m really happy to be back and happy to be through to the second round,” Shelton, who made his Masters 1000 debut a year ago in Ohio, said in his on-court interview.
“It’s always tough to play a friend and your doubles partner. I thought we played a really good level today.”
Adrian Mannarino eliminated fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-3, and Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka advanced with a 6-4 7-5 victory over France’s Gregoire Barrere.