Six Australians qualify for Wimbledon

Darren WaltonAAP
Jason Kubler has continued his inspiring form, making it into Wimbledon's main draw.
Camera IconJason Kubler has continued his inspiring form, making it into Wimbledon's main draw. Credit: AP

Australia will boast its largest Wimbledon contingent in almost a decade after a banner day for the green and gold in London.

Jason Kubler, Max Purcell, Astra Sharma, Zoe Hives, Jaimee Fourlis and Maddison Inglis all successfully qualified as Australia's emerging tennis stars and battlers showed there is life and hope after Ash Barty.

Kubler continued his stellar season to advance to the main draw with a 6-3 6-2 6-4 final-round qualifying win over Swede Elias Ymer at Roehampton.

The last Aussie standing at this month's French Open and a mixed doubles finalist with Fourlis at the Australian Open in January, Kubler is finally starting to deliver on his potential following a luckless run with injury for the former world No.1 junior.

The 29-year-old's victory on Thursday completed a rare double of qualifying for Roland Garros on clay and Wimbledon on grass in the space of a month.

But Kubler said qualifying for Wimbledon was extra special.

"It's always cool at Wimbledon because qualifying is here at Roehampton," he told AAP.

"So I'm going to very excited about walking into the gates of Wimbledon. That's the best feeling."

Purcell sealed his main-draw debut at The All England Club with a 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory over Portugal's Nuno Borges.

"That's the first thing you want as a kid - to play Wimbledon - and to do it after not playing a whole lot of singles this year, it's great," Purcell told AAP.

Fourlis was equally elated after earning her maiden main-draw spot with a 6-4 6-4 defeat of Frenchwoman Jessika Ponchet.

"It's pretty freaking cool right now. I probably can't swear but it's unreal," the 22-year-old told AAP.

"Coming in to this week, I knew I could do it. But at the same time you take one match at a time.

"I'm playing really well the last couple of months and I know the belief is there. I've done all the hard work."

Hives will also grace tennis's greatest stage for the first time after Priscilla Hon withdrew from her winner-takes-all Aussie showdown because of illness.

"It's a bit bittersweet that I didn't get the match, didn't get the moment of qualifying," Hives told AAP.

"But to get the call to say she withdrew and that I was actually in, I was a bit stunned to be honest.

I don't really think it's sunk in just yet."

Inglis, Kubler's girlfriend, earned her first Wimbledon start since playing the juniors eight years ago with a 7-6 (7-2) 2-6 6-2 win over Serbian Natalija Stevanovic.

"I can't believe it," the 24-year-old said.

"I've always dreamed of qualifying for a slam. I always go on the last day and see everyone's reaction and I always wished one day it was me so I can't believe it's happened."

Sharma joined the party alongside wildcard Daria Saville and 2021 quarter-finalist Ajla Tomljanovic as the sixth Australian in the 128-strong women's draw with a 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory over Victoria Jiminez Kasintseva, of Andorra.

But fellow Australian Rinky Hijikata was left to rue blowing a golden opportunity against Nicola Kuhn.

Hijikata twice served for a two-sets-to-one lead only to squander a 5-1 advantage in the third set of a gut-wrenching 6-4 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4) loss to the German.

But even without Barty defending the women's crown following the then-world No.1's shock retirement in March, Australia's 15 players in the singles draws is the highest since 2015.

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