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Ymer, Alcaraz Qualify for Australian Open Tennis Main Draw, Join Veterans Stakhovsky and Tomic

Elias Ymer

By Ricky Dimon

Australian Open qualifying wrapped up on Wednesday in Doha, where a whole host of big names punched their tickets to the main draw of the season’s first Grand Slam.

Two well-known veterans in Sergiy Stakhovsky and Viktor Troicki were among those who advanced. Stakhovsky came back from a set down to beat Dane Sweeny 2-6, 6-3, 6-1, while Troicki ousted Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-4, 6-2.

At the other end of the career spectrum, 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz is through to the main draw of a slam for the first time after defeating Hugo Dellien 6-2, 6-3. Alcaraz compiled an incredible 39-7 match record across all levels in 2020, capturing three Challenger titles. The highly-touted Spaniard is coached by countryman and former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

“Well I’m really happy,” Alcaraz assured. “Very happy to be able to play my first Grand Slam main draw…. I’m trying very hard to be here. During the day I felt a little bit nervous. But when I entered today to the court, I tried to relax the body; relax the arms. And thought that I played my game. That’s all. And try to be calm.”

A couple of other on-the-rise talents–who know each other quite well–are in the field of 128. For the first time ever, brothers Mikael Ymer and Elias Ymer will be in the main draw of the same Grand Slam. Mikael (22 years old) earned direct entry, while Elias (24) successfully qualified by getting the best of Taro Daniel 6-1, 6-2 on Wednesday.

“Family is so important to me and, like, where we come from, for two brothers to make the same main draw, it’s unbelievable, I have to say,” Elias said. “It’s crazy. When I saw [Mikael] play all these matches and playing so good, when I was doing my rehab for my elbow, I was like, ‘man, if my brother can do this, come on Elias.’ I felt like kind of the energy of it.

“He’s been a big support and now we’re going to use each other a lot. He’s top 100, and to be traveling together (on the same flight to Melbourne) with him, can you ask for more? It’s a blessing; a miracle.”

Speaking of miracles, Bernard Tomic will be in the main draw of the 2021 Australian Open. Yes, that Bernard Tomic.

The 28-year-old, who saved one match point in round two of qualifying against Tristan Schoolkate, outlasted fellow Aussie John-Patrick Smith 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(10-7) on Wednesday. Tomic has not been part of main-draw major since Wimbledon in 2019 and he has not won a slam match since Wimbledon in 2018. He last won an ATP-level match of any kind in Atlanta during the summer of 2019.

Other qualifiers were Michael Mmoh, Roman Safiullin, Mario Vilella Martinez, Henri Laaksonen, Maxime Cressy, Kimmer Coppejans, Tomas Machac, Aslan Karatsev, Botic Van de Zandschulp, Quentin Halys, and Frederico Ferreira Silva. Daniel and Dellien are the first two lucky-losers to get spots.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.