Australian qualifiers Storm Sanders and Maddison Inglis scored notable victories on Tuesday at the Adelaide International to join Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek in the second round.
Under lights at Memorial Drive, Sanders trounced fellow Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-2 after Inglis ended Sam Stosur’s tournament following a near three-hour battle on court.
Earlier in the day, Swiatek got her tournament off to an impressive start with a 6-3 6-3 triumph over Madison Brengle.
Swiatek next faces Inglis, while Sanders will take on No.7 seed Yulia Putintseva, a 6-4 6-4 winner over Laura Siegemund.
In other results, Shelby Rogers belted 26 winners and made only 13 errors to dismiss third seed Johanna Konta 6-2 6-2 – becoming the first player through to the quarterfinals – while Coco Gauff and Petra Martic won their first-round matches to set up a clash in the last 16.
Sanders needed just 63 minutes to see off 74th-ranked Tomljanovic, who just two weeks ago was one game away from eliminating Simona Halep in the second round of the Australian Open.
Yet she sprayed 26 unforced errors and managed just five winners against the free-swinging Sanders, who produced 17 winners of her own and won nine points at net.
“I think I served really well tonight. I was hitting my spots and mixing it up. And yeah, I was just being aggressive and playing my game, and it was a big match for me tonight, my first 500 main draw,” Sanders said.
“To be honest, I was under no pressure. I haven’t played much singles, so I was just out here having a good time.
“Playing qualies definitely helped me, and I also came off semifinals in mixed at Aussie Open, so I’ve played a lot of matches, and feeling good … so I was feeling confident.”
Sanders arrived in Adelaide on a five-match losing streak but has since won three in a row after qualifying victories over Bernarda Pera and Caty McNally.
Countrywoman Inglis also won two matches in qualifying to take her place in the main draw, and won her third straight with a tense 5-7 7-5 6-4 victory over Stosur.
Stosur entered the match with her Achilles taped and later hurt her upper left leg; she fought gallantly despite hampered movement and even had a point to lead 4-0 in the final set before a steadier Inglis reeled her in.
“I’m obviously stoked to get the win. I could see Sam wasn’t 100 per cent in the third set, so I hope everything ‘s OK with her. I think I got a bit lucky in the end there,” said Inglis, the world No.136.
“It’s pretty special to play against Sam, she was an idol growing up, and someone I’ve always looked up to. So to be on the same court with her was a really cool experience.
“I think this week’s really special … at this level (500) it’s my first WTA main-draw win. I’m getting towards top 100 which is really exciting. To get matches like this week and confidence from these matches is really important.
“I’ve never played Iga before, but she’s obviously an amazing player. I’m going to go out, enjoy it I think, and just have some fun.”
Swiatek had far too much firepower for Brengle, winning the five of the last six games of the match to seal a 6-3 6-4 victory.
She has now won 12 of her past 14 matches
In a battle between qualifiers, Coco Gauff overcame Italy’s Jasmine Paolini 6-4 6-7(4) 6-2 to set up a meeting with No.6 seed Martic, a 4-6 6-0 7-5 winner over Liudmila Samsonova.
Jil Teichmann, the first winner of the day on Tuesday, will place eighth seed Wang Qiang following a 6-2 7-6(5) triumph over Kristina Mladenovic.
Japan’s Misaki Doi beat Anna Blinkova in three sets and will take on second seed Belinda Bencic in the second round.