Chris O’Connell is the sixth home hope through to the second round of the Australian Open after winning his first main draw game at Melbourne Park

The 26-year-old took full advantage of his wildcard entry to win the No. 1 to upset 37 Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 on Tuesday

Struff had defeated former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and helped Germany reach the semifinals of the ATP Cup last week

But in the Grand Slam he couldn’t keep up with O’Connell, whose shares continue to grow

Two years after washing at Pittwater Harbor to make ends meet, the Sydneysider is developing into an exciting late bloomer in Australian tennis

He now has the world number 7 Andrey Rublev scored four sets in the first round at Melbourne Park last year before celebrating his first win in a major at the 2020 US Open in New York

The breakthrough in his Home Slam guarantees O’Connell a payday of at least 150$ 000 and a second round shot at Roberto Bautista-Agut (Dec. Starting place) or Radu Albot (12 Starting place) on Thursday

In the second round he meets Australian compatriots Nick Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic, Alex Bolt, James Duckworth and Ajla Tomljanovic

Local wildcard Astra Sharma missed their golden chance to move forward and missed the opening stage of their first-round meeting

25-year-old Sharma was looking for a comfortable win over Nao Hibino, but the Japanese baseliner reversed the momentum and won 2-6 6-3 7-5 in one hour and 57 minutes

Wildcard colleague Maddison Inglis took up the fight against defending champion Sofia Kenin in the opening game on Tuesday in the Rod Laver Arena, before bowing 7: 5: 6: 4

Christopher O’Connell

World news – AU – Local fighter brings big Australian Open over the world No37