Doha and Dubai to Melbourne

Australian Open qualifying is now complete, kick off at Melbourne Park is for the first Grand Slam of the year is about a month away but we know who will make up the draw having come through qualifying but on a different continent.

So, who stole the headlines?

Carlos Alcaraz to debut in Melbourne

There isn’t many better places to begin that with Carlos qualifying for a major for the first time in his career. At the age of 16 just this time last year he made his debut in Rio and won 7-6 4-6 7-6 against inAlbert Ramos Vinolas in 3 hours 36 minutes.

Despite the difficulties of last season the Spaniard who is coached by former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero won back to back Challenger titles in Spain and finished his season winning five singles titles accross ITF and ATP Challenger level.

The good form last year did see Alcaraz climb to a career high of 136 so far in his short career which meant a chance in qualifying for a major.

After two good wins the Spaniard had a tough battle in the final round against second seed Hugo Dellien ranked 111 in the world and second seed in qualifying to head to Melbourne Park in a few days’ time.

20 year old Francesca Jones qualifies for a major for the first time!

Some great news for British Tennis is that 20 year old Francesca Jones will be debuting at the Australian Open and in a Grand Slam for the very first time.

Just in June 2019 the Brit was ranked around 457 in the world and qualifying for the Australian Open will see Francesca go to around 219 in the world after an epic few days of Tennis from her.

Francesca was born with Ectrodactyly Ectodermal Dysplasia (EED) which is a rare condition and has had over 10 surgeries in her life and has previously said:

“Personally my challenge has been to put myself in a physical shape that prevents injuries. My feet work in a different way and that means I run differently, my balance goes through my feet and my toes in a different way.

“For sure, I’ve always had a small grip and a really light racket and I am hesitant to change that because it’s worked well so far. I guess in the gym I’ve spent a lot of time trying to gain strength to support my muscles that can maybe support the weaknesses that I may have.”

Francesca won 6-0 6-1 in her final qualifying match and it is an inspiration story the hard work she has put in to now get this incredible chance in Melbourne!

What else has been happening?

A certain Bernard Tomic will be back at Melbourne Park, The Aussie who has never lived up to his hype and has admitted before he is only in it for the money will get a shot at Melbourne Park for the 14th year running but hasn’t won a match there since 2017.

Tsvetana Pironkova who made her return in New York after three years out after becoming a mum and making the final eight is back in the main draw of The Australian Open. It was a surprise to see her in the qualifying but fought well in her final two matches to qualify again.

It wasn’t the same story for Buzarnescu but wins for Babos and Troicki saw them qualify too.

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