Sam Groth and James Duckworth have set up a high-stakes all-Australian second-round Wimbledon showdown after scoring breakthrough victories at the All England Club.
Groth nailed 16 aces to upset American 31st seed Jack Sock 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-3 for his maiden main-draw Wimbledon win after Duckworth reached round two for the first time with a fighting 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 3-6 3-6 7-6 victory over Tunisian Malek Jaziri.
The pair will stoush on Thursday, with the reward a big one – almost certainly a centre-court duel with second-seeded seven-times champion Roger Federer.
After qualifying last year, Groth and Duckworth both gained direct entry in 2015 after making significant rankings strides over the past 12 months.
Duckworth’s success on Tuesday also buried some grand slam demons after the 22-year-old suffered a gut-wrenching first-round loss from two sets up against Italian Andrea Arnabo.
Duckworth squandered a match point in that defeat and dubbed it the worst experience he’d endured on a tennis court.
His good mate Lleyton Hewitt was on hand as he overcame the disappointment of dropping the third and fourth sets against the higher-ranked Jaziri to give himself an opportunity to live out a lifelong dream against Federer.
Casey Dellacqua and Ajla Tomljanovic also advanced on day two of the championships to give Australia nine players in the second round.
Dellacqua sealed an impressive 6-2 6-2 win over two-time women’s quarter-finalist Tamira Paszek to book a date with Ukrainian 17th seed Elina Svitolina, while Tomljanovic upset Czech Klara Koukalova 6-3 6-4.
Tomljanovic next plays either Polish 13th seed Agnieszka Radwanska or Czech Lucie Hradecka and could strike Dellacqua in the third round.