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Wimbledon first round preview: All-Aussie clash the standout

Wimbledon begins on Monday and, as has been the case for some time, Alex de Minaur will carry the hopes of Australia for Garand Slam success on the hallowed grass courts of SW19.

De Minaur takes on fellow Aussie James Duckworth in his first-round match, with the ninth seed hoping to build on a season which has already seen him reach the fourth round at the Australian Open and the quarter-finals of the French Open.

In total there are 11 Aussies in the men’s singles draw, while in the women’s draw there are just three Australian hopes - Alja Tomljanovic, Olivia Gadecki, and Daria Saville.

De Minaur enjoying best-ever year

De Minaur has clearly made taken steps forward so far this season, matching his best-ever Grand Slam performance by reaching the last eight in Paris, and he will be eager to impress against compatriot Duckworth.

The two Aussies have met just once before, with De Minaur claiming a 6-4 6-4 victory in Atlanta in 2022 and he is as narrow as 1.083 to defeat Duckworth, while he is 1.83 to claim a straight sets victory.

De Minaur’s best result at Wimbledon came in 2022 when he reached the fourth round before losing in five sets to Chilean Cristain Garin.

Jordan Thompson will also fancy his chances of progressing, having recently reached the semi-finals at Queen’s Club and taken down both Holger Rune and Taylor Fritz on the way.

The Sydney native takes on Russian Pavel Kotov and is 1.22 to make it through to round two, while Alex Bolt’s reward for making it through qualifying is a meeting with eighth seed Caper Ruud of Norway, who is 3.40 to win in four sets.

Max Purcell should go into his SW19 opener against Finnish qualifier Otto Virtanen in confident mood after reaching the final of the Eastbourne International and he is 1.61 to book a place in round two.

Both Chris O’Connell and Thanasi Kokkinakis face tough assignments against seeded players, with the former taking on 13th seed Fritz, who defeated Purcell in that Eastbourne final.

Meanwhile, Kokkinakis has been handed a meeting with 17th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and the Canadian is 1.40 to get the better of the Aussie, who has surprisingly only ever won one singles match at Wimbledon.

Alexei Popyrin, Alex Vukic and Adam Walton will also be in action, while Rinky Hijikata will want to build on reaching the quarters at Queen’s after struggling massively for form before landing on the grass.

Hijikata faces a tester against rising star Flavio Cobolli of Italy, who is now ranked inside the world’s top 50, and the Sydney native is 1.90 to edge what is expected to be a very tight contest.

Saville joined by wildcard and qualifier

Of the three Australian players in the women’s singles draw, only Daria Saville qualified automatically and she has been handed a meeting with American Peyton Stearns in round one.

Saville has lost in the opening round at SW19 in each of the last two years and is 2.20 to get the better of the higher-ranked Stearns and avoid completing an unwanted hat-trick.

Wildcard Alja Tomljanovic does have previous on the Wimbledon grass, having reached the quarter-finals in both 2021 and 2022, but this time around she has been given a hugely tough draw - taking on 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko.

The 2017 French Open champion was an SW19 semi-finalist in 2018, but Tomljanovic did win their meeting at Wimbledon three years ago, edging a tough three-setter and she is 2.62 to triumph again.

The final Aussie representative is qualifier Olivia Gadecki, who won back-to-back three-setters to earn a place in the main draw for the first time and she takes on fellow qualifier Robin Montgomery, with the American the 1.50 favourite to prevail.

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