Home » Aussie weekly wrap: Australians make promising start to clay-court season

Aussie weekly wrap: Australians make promising start to clay-court season

Aussie pair Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson clinched their third doubles title of the season at an ATP 250 tournament in Houston.

Houston, USA, 8 April 2024 | Leigh Rogers

The clay-court season is officially underway and our Australian players are thriving.

Five Aussie players featured in clay-court doubles finals this week, with two of them claiming titles.

Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson led the way, successfully defending their crown at an ATP 250 event in America.

Many other players recorded career-best results or their best results in several years on the dirt surface.

This week’s most outstanding performers include:

Ellen Perez: The 28-year-old advanced to the doubles semifinals at a WTA 500 clay-court tournament in Charleston (USA) alongside American partner Nicole Melichar-Martinez. The in-form duo have now made the semifinals or better in four of their past five events.

Astra Sharma: The 28-year-old scored her first top-50 win in almost three years, beating world No.39 Lesia Tsurenko during a third-round run at the WTA 500 tournament in Charleston. This was the first time a resurgent Sharma had recorded back-to-back WTA main-draw singles wins since May 2022.

Daria Saville: The 30-year-old scored three wins to advance to the second round as a qualifier at the WTA 500 tournament in Charleston. This included Saville’s seventh top-100 victory of the season.

Jordan Thompson and Max Purcell: The Aussie pair snatched their third ATP 250 doubles title of the season in Houston (USA). This is 29-year-old Thompson’s fifth career ATP doubles title and 26-year-old Purcell’s seventh.

> READ MORE: Thompson and Purcell defend Houston doubles title

John Peers: The 35-year-old advanced to his first ATP clay-court final in almost three years, recording a runner-up finish alongside American William Blumberg at the ATP 250 tournament in Houston. This was also Peers’ best result on tour since September 2023.

Jordan Thompson: The 29-year-old recorded his best result at an ATP clay-court tournament in five years, progressing to the quarterfinals at the ATP 250 tournament in Houston. The steely competitor saved three match points in his second-round win, the third time this season he has triumphed from this position.

Rinky Hijikata: The 23-year-old notched his first clay-court main-draw win at ATP level, knocking out world No.41 Christopher Eubanks in the opening round at the ATP 250 tournament in Houston. Hijikata also advanced to the doubles quarterfinals alongside compatriot Andrew Harris.

> READ: Train with Andrew Harris – “You’ll get the results eventually”

James Duckworth: The 32-year-old posted his first tour-level clay-court singles win since 2021 to progress to the second round in Houston. Duckworth then extended world No.21 and eventual finalist Frances Tiafoe to three sets.

Aleksandar Vukic: The 28-year-old recorded his best tour-level result on clay, advancing to the singles quarterfinals at an ATP 250 tournament in Marrakech (Morocco). Vukic recorded his sixth career top-50 win, and first since August 2023, against second-seeded Austrian Sebastian Ofner during his breakout run.

Tristan Schoolkate and Adam Walton: The Aussie pair were doubles finalists at an ATP 125 Challenger in Mexico City (Mexico). This was 23-year-old Schoolkate and 24-year-old Walton’s third ATP Challenger final appearance this season.

> READ: Adam Walton – A rising star of Australian tennis

Bernard Tomic: The 31-year-old recorded his best clay-court result since 2018, with a singles semifinal appearance at an ATP 125 Challenger in Mexico City (Mexico). This improved Tomic’s season record to 17 wins from 26 matches.

Adam Taylor: The 32-year-old was a doubles semifinalist at an ATP 75 Challenger in Florianopolis (Brazil) with Argentina’s Gonzalo Villanueva. This was Taylor’s best result since September 2023.

Kaylah McPhee: The 26-year-old recorded her best singles result of the season, reaching the semifinals at an ITF 75 tournament in Florianopolis (Brazil). McPhee also made the doubles quarterfinals alongside Peru’s Romina Ccuno.

Talia Gibson and Priscilla Hon: The Aussie pair were doubles semifinalists at an ITF 50 hard-court tournament in Kashiwa (Japan). It was the best doubles result of the season for both 19-year-old Gibson and 25-year-old Hon.

Maya Joint: In only her second professional clay-court tournament appearance, the 17-year-old made the singles semifinals at an ITF 35 in Jackson (USA). The promising teen has now won 10 of her past 12 matches on the pro tour.

> READ: Joint enjoying exceptional start to 2024 season

Matt Hulme: The 25-year-old combined with New Zealand’s James Watt to advance to the doubles semifinals at an ITF 25 tournament in Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt). Hulme has now reached the semifinals in four of his past five doubles events.

Jeremy Taylor: The 24-year-old teamed with Italian Marco Dessi to reach the doubles semifinals at an ITF 25 tournament in Santa Margherita di Pula (Italy). This was Taylor’s best tour-level result since November 2022.

Heath Davidson: The 36-year-old was a singles finalist at an ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour hard-court event in Seoul (South Korea). Davidson was also a doubles semifinalist with American David Wagner.

> READ: Hunter, De Minaur headline latest edition of Australian Tennis Magazine

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