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Aussie men continue wins at Open tune-up

Jordan Thompson, James Duckworth, Alexei Popyrin, Matt Ebden and teenager Dane Sweeny have continued the surge of local success with round-one wins in the Australian Open lead-in events at Melbourne Park.

The quintet on Tuesday joined a group of six Australian men – Chris O’Connell, Jason Kubler, Aleksandar Vukic, Max Purcell, Alex Bolt and Harry Bourchier – to have tasted success so far this week in the two ATP tournaments.

World No.52 Thompson, who has spent the past month training in Canberra with Nick Kyrgios, downed Italian Gianluca Mager 4-6 6-4 6-3.

He will next face Frenchman Pierre-Herbert Hughes.

Duckworth got the better of Czech Tomas Machac 6-3 6-4 to set up a second-round meeting with another French player, world No.32 Ugo Humbert.

Queenslander Sweeny, aged 19 and with a singles ranking of 797, scrambled past Korean Nam Ji-sung 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.

Popyrin edged out Croatian Borna Gojo in three thrilling tiebreak sets 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (9-7), while veteran Ebden scored a spirited 6-3 7-6 (8-6) win over higher-ranked Argentine Dederico Delbonis.

Earlier, controversial American Tennys Sandgren overcame Australian John-Patrick Smith and his own temper to book his second-round berth.

A two-time quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park, Sandgren berated himself, screaming “I hate this stupid sport”, before going on to secure a 6-3 5-7 6-4 victory over local wildcard Smith.

He also broke a racquet during the third set to earn a code violation.

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