Tennis: Australian Jason Kubler a victory after qualifying for the first Roland-Garros
At least one Australian will take part in qualifying for the final round of Roland-Garros, but several compatriots have withdrawn.
Jason Kubler is one win away from qualifying for his first French Open after rallying from the brink of defeat against Moldovan Radu Albot on Wednesday night.
The former world junior No. 1 needed three hours and 15 minutes to outlast Albot 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-4) after both fell short to serve the game.
Kubler’s chance came at 5-4 in the final set, after Albot, ranked 112th, looked set for a routine victory as he led by one set and 6-5 in the second set.
The 28-year-old hit seven aces and saved 11 of the 16 break points he faced in a gritty performance.
Kubler is the only Australian so far to advance to the final round, with Jaimee Fourlis, Arina Rodionova and Aleks Vukic losing their second-round contests.
He played exclusively on red soil at one point in his career due to persistent knee problems, so it’s odd that Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam he has yet to reach the main draw at.
But Kubler, once ranked 91st in the world and now at 161st, has had plenty of success on clay and will need to beat Portugal’s Pedro Sousa to qualify.
Sousa beat Australian Max Purcell in a third set tiebreaker in the first round qualifier.
Priscilla Hon, Lizette Cabrera and Seone Mendez will attempt to join Kubler later Tuesday night.
Kubler made the Australian Open mixed doubles final in January with Fourlis.
Daria Saville and Chris O’Connell have been awarded main draw wildcards at Roland Garros, bringing the number of Aussies already in the main draw to 10.