Melbourne, Australia, 22 January 2022 | leigh rogers
Chris O’Connell, Maddison Inglis and Alex de Minaur are all enjoying career-best runs at Australian Open 2022.
The Aussie trio have advanced to the third round in the singles competitions and credit the crowd support for their impressive performances.
“I think I just thrive being here at home,” 22-year-old De Minaur said.
“It’s always a special feeling, and no matter what year, I always play well here. I always play well at home in front of my home fans. I get fired up. So it’s a great time of the year for me, which I’m always looking forward to. The more people that I get watching my matches, the more excited I get.”
De Minaur, Australia’s top-ranked man at world No.42, does not feel any extra pressure.
“Instead of looking at it as pressure to perform, I see it as another chance to play in front of my home fans and do what I love,” he said. “How could I ever complain about that?”
O’Connell believes a vocal Court 3 crowd played an important part in his first top-20 win against Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the second round.
“I really tried to use the crowd’s energy, which I haven’t done that really in the past,” the quiet-achieving 27-year-old said.
“I mean, last year I didn’t really take in my surroundings all that much on that court. This time when I walked out on court, I really took it in, really got to know the court. I think that helped me.”
Inglis, a 24-year-old wildcard, is relishing the fan support too in her thrilling run.
“To play out there on Margaret Court is something that you dream about,” Inglis said after her second-round win. “I’m feeling really grateful and lucky at the moment.”
The trio are among 22 Aussie players in action on day six at Australian Open 2022.
Aussies in action:
[WC] Madison Inglis (AUS) v Kaia Kanepi (EST)
Women’s singles, third round, Rod Laver Arena, day session, second match
Inglis entered this tournament as a world No.133 wildcard searching for a first Grand Slam main draw win. The 24-year-old from Perth now has two and is hoping to record her third of her today. “(I’m) just enjoying this moment, enjoying being here at a Slam,” Inglis said. “This is my favorite tournament. So, I’m just trying to soak it all up at the moment.” Her third-round opponent of her, a 36-year-old Estonian ranked No.115, is familiar with this stage. Kanepi is a former world No.15, a six-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist and making her fourth appearance in the AO third round.
Head-to-head record: First meeting
> VIEW: Australian Open 2022 women’s singles draw
[WC] Chris O’Connell (AUS) v Maxime Cressy (USA)
Men’s singles, third round, Court 3, third match (not before 4pm AEDT)
After recording his career-first top-20 win in the second round, world No.175 O’Connell now has his sights set on advancing to the fourth round at a major tournament for the first time. The 27-year-old from Sydney faces 198-centimetre Cressy, who has an old school serve-and-volley game style. The 24-year-old American is also enjoying a career-best Grand Slam run. “I’m looking forward to playing Cressy. He’s in really good form,” O’Connell said of the world No.70, who advanced to his first ATP final at the Melbourne Summer Set earlier this month.
Head-to-head record: First meeting
> VIEW: Australian Open 2022 men’s singles draw
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Pablo Andujar (ESP)
Men’s singles, third round, Rod Laver Arena, night session, first match (from 7pm AEDT)
De Minaur has advanced to the Australian Open third round for the third time, matching his efforts in 2019 and 2021. The No.32 seed is determined to continue his winning run when he faces world No.83 Andujar. The 35-year-old Spaniard is enjoying a career-best run at this year’s AO, having never progressed beyond the second round in 10 previous main draw appearances. “I know Pablo very well, I’ve hit a lot with him,” said the Spain-based De Minaur ahead of their clash. “He’s a terrific competitor and he’s had some amazing wins.”
Head-to-head record: Driving leads 1-0
Last meeting: Andujar won 7-6(5) 6-1 (Alicante, 2018)
Matt Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS) v  Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL)/Robert Farah (COL)
Men’s doubles, second round, 1573 Arena, second match
At last year’s Australian Open, 34-year-old Ebden and 23-year-old Purcell faced-off in a second-round doubles match. This year they are playing together and trying to upset the No.4 seeds. Cabal and Farah are two-time Grand Slam champions, AO 2018 finalists and former world No.1s. World No.55 Ebden and world No.34 Purcell are both aiming to reach the AO third round for a second time.
> VIEW: Australian Open 2022 men’s doubles draw
[WC] Jaimee Fourlis (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) v  Nina Stojanovic (SRB)/Mat Pavic (CRO)
Mixed doubles, first round, Court 15, second match
Fourlis, a 22-year-old from Melbourne ranked No.204, is making her Grand Slam mixed doubles debut alongside Kubler, a 28-year-old from Brisbane ranked No.585. The Aussie wildcards face a tough first-round assignment against the No.7 seeds. Stojanovic, a 25-year-old from Serbia, is ranked No.37 and Pavic, a 28-year-old Croatian, is the world No.1 and the AO 2018 mixed doubles champion.
Monique Adamczak (AUS)/Han Xinyun (CHN) v  Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)/Katerina Siniakova (CZE)
Women’s doubles, second round, John Cain Arena, third match
After celebrating her 39th birthday yesterday, Adamczak is now hoping to advance to the third round in a Grand Slam doubles draw for the first time in eight years. The persistent Aussie, who has just resumed her career after a near two-year injury struggle, and Chinese partner Han faced a big test against Olympic gold medalists Krejcikova and Siniakova. The Czech duo are the world’s top-two ranked doubles players.
> READ: Monique Adamczak – “I honestly never thought I’d play again”
Storm Sanders (AUS)/Neal Skupski (GBR) v  Ena Shibahara (JPN)/Ben McLachlan (JPN)
Mixed doubles, first round, Court 8, third match
World No.27 Sanders was a mixed doubles semifinalist at AO 2021. The 27-year-old Australian has a new partner this year, teaming up with world No.20 Skupski. The 32-year-old Brit won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title last year. They face a tough first-round assignment against eighth-seed Japanese combination Shibahara, a 23-year-old ranked No.6, and McLachlan, a 29-year-old ranked No.49.
[WC] Astra Sharma (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) v Lucie Hradecka (CZE)/Gonzalo Escobar (ECA)
Mixed doubles, first round, Court 17, third match
Aussie wildcards Sharma, a 26-year-old ranked No.98, and Smith, a 32-year-old ranked No.68, are proven contenders in the Australian Open mixed doubles competition. They made the 2019 final and enjoyed a semifinal run in 2020. Teaming up for a fourth time, they are hoping to build on a 7-3 win-loss team record at the tournament. They face Hradecka, a 36-year-old ranked No.29, and Escobar, a 32-year-old ranked No.39.
 Zhang Shuai (CHN)/John Peers (AUS) v Andreja Klepac (SLO)/Joran Vliegen (BEL)
Mixed doubles, first round, 1573 Arena, fourth match
Peers, Australia’s top-ranked doubles player at world No.12, is contesting his eighth AO mixed doubles competition. The 33-year-old is teaming up with world No.8 Zhang, his partner in a Wimbledon semifinal run last year, for the 10th time in a Grand Slam. They begin their second AO together against Klepac, a 35-year-old Slovenian ranked No.18, and Vliegen, a 28-year-old Belgian ranked No.33.
[WC] Sam Stosur (AUS)/Matt Ebden (AUS) v Asia Muhammad (USA)/Fabrice Martin (FRA)
Mixed doubles, first round, 1573 Arena, fifth match
Stosur and Ebden, who are both former AO mixed doubles champions, are teaming up again after memorably progressing to the AO 2021 final. Stosur, the world No.15, and Ebden, currently ranked at a career-high No.55, are determined to go one better in 2022. They begin their quest against Muhammad, a 30-year-old American ranked No.43, and Martin, a 35-year-old Frenchman ranked No.31.
> VIEW: Australian Open 2022 mixed doubles draw
The Australian Open Junior Championships also begin today, played concurrently at Melbourne Park. Nine of Australia’s most promising young talents feature in boys’ and girls’ singles matches:
[WC] Talia Gibson (AU) v  Liv Hovde (USA)
Girls’ singles, first round, Court 13, first match (from 11am AEDT)
[WC] Rossin Gilheany (AUS) v Anca Alexia Todoni (ROU)
Girls’ singles, first round, Court 16, first match (from 11am AEDT)
> VIEW: Australian Open 2022 girls’ singles draw
Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz v  Elena Pridankina (RUS)
Girls’ singles, first round, Court 13, second match
[WC] Charlie Camus (AUS) v Gilles Arnaud Bailly (BEL)
Boys’ singles, first round, Court 16, second match
[WC] Hayden Jones (AUS) v  Bor Artnak (SLO)
Boys’ singles, first round, Court 13, third match
> VIEW: Australian Open 2022 boys’ singles draw
[WC] Lily Taylor (AUS) v Dominika Salkova (CZE)
Girls’ singles, first round, Court 16, third match
[WC] Lily Fairclough (AUS) v Annabelle Xu (CAN)
Girls’ singles, first round, Court 13, fourth match
[WC] Jeremy Jin (AUS) v [Q] Jack Loutit (NZL)
Boys’ singles, first round, Court 16, fourth match
[Q] Henry Lamchinniah (AUS) v Luis Carlos Alvarez Valdes (MEX)
Boys’ singles, first round, Court 13, fifth match
> VIEW: Full Australian Open 2022 day six schedule
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