Australian wildcard Aleksandar Vukic has delivered the first big upset of the Australian Open men’s draw, stunning 30th seed Lloyd Harris in four sets to continue a breakout summer.
Ranked world No.144, Vukic remained calm in the clutch to come from behind and defeat South African Harris 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) in just under three hours.
The win is Vukic’s first victory at a grand slam and will see him claim his biggest slice of prize money of his career. Just for winning his first round match Vukic will net a whopping cheque of $154,000 and that will grow if he can account for Moldovan qualifier Radu Albot in the second round.
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Speaking post match, Vukic told the media the result was a dream come true.
“I grew up coming to the Australian Open most years and watching the Aussies play,” he said.
“As a kid you dream of it and it seems so far away, it seems like it’s impossible almost.
“Playing on court three, on that stage is something I’ll always cherish.”
Vukic will now face Albot, the world No.122, after the Moldovan beat Yoshihito Nishioka in his opening match.
“(Albot) came through qualis and seems to be playing well,” Vukic said of his opponent.
“I know he played one of my fellow Aussies Chris O’Connell, played him last year in the second round as well and took him out. So knowing that, I’m not taking him lightly at all.”
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