Alex Vukic has halted his long decline in form and resumed his bid in the top 100 as one of six Australians to advance to the second qualifying round of the French Open.
The 123rd racket of the world, who missed the cross-country net in the singles against training partner Chris O’Connell, was eliminated by Spaniard Mario Vielho Martinez 7-5 6-4 in his opening qualifying match.
Vukic has won just one set in three ground matches at the level of the contenders in the previous match against Roland Garros and has lost a total of six competitions in a row.
He will have one victory left before reaching the French Open for the second time, when he will be able to defeat the 218th Austrian Sebastian Ofner after a successful qualification two years ago.
Vukic, who won the Australian Open round in January, also advanced to the final qualifying round in Paris last year.
Jason Kubler, a well-known player on the court, was the only other Australian to make a breakthrough, while Priscilla Hon, Seon Mendez, Jamie Furlis and Arina Rodionova advanced in the women’s side.
Kubler made deep digs to oust Ricardo Banadio from Italy 6-4 3-6 6-3 to continue his last renaissance after finishing 305th in mid-July.
Brisbane’s next 161st world number will face Moldova’s sixth number Radu Albat, which promises to be a grueling affair.
But Max Purcell was defeated 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (10-8) by Portuguese Pedro Souza, who ranked 99th in the ATP rankings.
Furlis, who cut her ranking by more than 100 places this year to 235, overtook Italian Federico Di Sarro 7-6 (9-7) 6-3, while Rodionova lost just six games in a win over American Emina Bektas. .
Furlis reached the Australian Open final in mixed doubles this year with Kubler.
Hon also won the sets in a row, beating Francesca Di Lorenzo of the United States 6-4 6-4, but Mendes needed to come together from the set to win his first match of the French Open over Maria Bolkvadze of Georgia.
But Storm Sanders will not qualify for the Grand Slam tournament on the ground courts for several years in a row thanks to a 6-4 6-4 defeat by third-seeded Chinese Zhu Lin.
Olivia Gadeca, who missed the Australian Open after deciding not to get vaccinated against Covid-19, lost 5-7 6-3 7-5 to American Hailey Batiste at number 17, and Madison Inglis at number 18 lost to the Dutch Susan Lamens.
Two more Australians, Lizette Cabrera and Ellen Perez, are due to play their first-round matches on Tuesday night.