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Australian Open: Hunter joins De Minaur in round three

Hopes of home success at the Australian Open remain somewhat limited, but Storm Hunter has provided a major boost by making her way through to the third round, where she will face ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova.

In the men's draw Alex de Minaur is also safely through to the last 32, with a clash with Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli next on the agenda for the 24-year-old Sydney native.

Several other Aussies are yet to play their second-round matches, so other home hopes may join their compatriots in progressing further at Melbourne Park.

De Minaur tested in Raonic opener

De Minaur coasted through his second-round match as he despatched Italian Matteo Arnaldi 6-3 6-0 6-3, but he had been offered a stiffer test in his opener against former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic.

The Canadian took the first set on a tie-break before De Minaur levelled things up, with Raonic then forced to retire at 2-0 down in the third set due to a leg injury.

De Minaur, now 26.00 to be crowned champion, stepped things up against Arnaldi and is clearly happy to shoulder the weight of expectations, recently telling reporters: "I don't really associate playing in Australia as nerve-wracking, or more pressure. In fact, I associate it as just excitement."

Alexei Popyrin and Jordan Thompson also showed up well despite missing out on places in round three, with the former taking defending champion Novak Djokovic to four sets before eventually going down 6-3 4-6 7-6 6-3.

Thompson tested seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas over four sets, before being beaten 4-6 7-6 6-2 7-6.

Still hoping to join De Minaur in the third round are Max Purcell and Thanasi Kokkinakis, although both face hugely tough assignments in round two.

Purcell is 4.50 to defeat 11th seed Casper Ruud of Norway, who dropped just five games in his opening victory over Albert Ramos Vinolas and who has already reached three Grand Slam finals.

Kokkinakis takes on a resurgent 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov next and is as long as 5.00 to defeat the Bulgarian, with the Aussie having been pushed to the limits in round one by Austrian Sebastian Ofner.

Hunter storms into round three

Storm Hunter, a Wimbledon finalist in women's doubles, had not won a singles match at her home Grand Slam until the current tournament, having previously lost in the opening round five times.

However, she ended that run of losses in style as she defeated former French Open finalist Sara Errani 6-4 6-3 in her opener, before backing that up with a hard-fought three-set win over German Laura Siegemund in round two.

Next up is an even bigger test against ninth seed and 2021 French Open champion Krejcikova, who is a strong 1.30 fancy to book her place in the fourth round in Melbourne.

A second Aussie lady remains in with a chance of making round three, with Alja Tomljanovic preparing for a showdown with 11th seed Jelena Ostapenko, having edged out Petra Martic in a tough three-set opener at Melbourne Park.

Tomljanovic - recently recovered from a long-term injury - has never previously gone beyond round two at the Australian Open and is 4.00 to defeat Ostapenko, who won the French Open title four years before Krejcikova.

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