Jesper de Jong qualified for the main draw of the Australian Open on Friday. The 23-year-old from Hoofddorp won his third and final qualifying match and is preparing for his first ever Grand Slam tournament.
De Jong was too strong for Argentine Camilo Ugo Carabelli in three sets. In the match, which lasted 3 hours and 21 minutes, the Dutchman wasted a match point in the decisive tie-break, after which the second match point was scored: 7-6 (3), 3-6 and 7-6 (7).
In the second set, the Dutchman, No. 148, faltered for a moment. De Jong lost his serve game 3-4, after which Ugo Carabelli, a year older than him, took the second set. In the third and decisive set, he won four consecutive points while trailing 7-6 in the tiebreak, after which he collapsed on the court in frustration.
De Jong will face Argentine Pedro Cachin, world No. 72, in the main tournament. He has played against the 28-year-old South American once before and was very solid in two sets (7-5, 6-2).
Unlike De Jong, Leslie Pattinama Kerkhof was eliminated in the final round of the qualifiers. The 32-year-old Zeeland lost to Czech Sara Biglik in two sets: 3-6 and 4-6. The world number 235 was hoping to participate for the first time ever in the Australian Open in Melbourne, but now she must wait at least a year for a new opportunity.
Earlier, Gijs Brouwer and Ariane Hartono were eliminated from the Australian Open qualifiers. Talon Grekboer, Boutique van de Zandschulp and Arantxa Ros automatically qualify for the Australian Open. The main draw for the Grand Slam tournament begins on Sunday.
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