'You beauty': Tennis world erupts over Aussie's historic moment

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Pictured here, Aleksandar Vukic celebrates his first ever win in a grand slam main draw singles match.
Aleksandar Vukic grabbed his first ever win in a grand slam main draw on the opening day at Melbourne Park. Pic: Getty

Local hope Aleksandar Vukic has sent the tennis world into a frenzy after a stunning Australian Open upset on day one saw him clinch a special piece of history.

The Aussie wildcard became the first local winner on the opening day at Melbourne Park, with a four-set upset triumph over 30th seed Lloyd Harris.

'HATE IT': Players lash Novak Djokovic theory at Australian Open

'AMAZING': Massive twist for Ash Barty after Novak Djokovic deported

'UTTER DISGRACE': Uproar over 'appalling' Novak Djokovic twist

Vukic held his nerve in a tight encounter on Court 3, winning 4-6 6-3 7-5 7-6 (7-3) against South African Harris in two hours and 53 minutes.

It continued a good recent run of form from the Sydneysider, who reached his first ATP Tour quarter-final last week in Adelaide before bowing out to eventual champion and fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis.

The 25-year-old's stunning triumph - against an opponent 114 places above him in the world rankings - saw Vukic showered with praise from tennis fans on social media.

Vukic received a standing ovation from the delighted home crowd after the match, shaking his head in apparent disbelief after posting his breakthrough main-draw win at a grand slam.

His reward is a second-round clash against Moldovan qualifier Radu Albot.

There are six locals in action on day one of the Open, including women's World No.1 Ash Barty, Ajla Tomljanovic, John Millman, James Duckworth and Kokkinakis.

Women's big guns into second round

In earlier action, women's fifth seed Maria Sakkari and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic became the the first women's big guns through to the second round at Melbourne Park.

Sakkari was made to sweat against world No.287 Tatjana Maria before prevailing 6-4 7-6 (7-2) over the German on Monday.

Maria only gained entry to the season-opening grand slam on a special ranking after taking maternity leave last year following the birth of her second child.

But Sakkari, a semi-finalist at both the French Open and US Open last year, was mightily relieved to get past her.

Seen here, Maria Sakkari celebrates after beating Tatjana Maria in the first round of the Australian Open.
Maria Sakkari celebrates after a hard-fought win against Tatjana Maria in the first round of the Australian Open. Pic: Getty

"We all now first rounds are not that easy," Sakkari said.

"Credit to Tatjana; she really played a great match. She has a very weird game in a good way. I found it really tough to find my rhythm against her."

Sakkari, who crashed out in the first round in Melbourne last year before ending the season inside the top 10 for the first time, also admitted to being anxious playing the first match of the 2022 Open on Rod Laver Arena.

"I was a little bit stressed because I was opening up this tournament on this wonderful court. It's a privilege," the Greek ace said.

"I'm very glad that I was able to find a way to win and to keep myself in the tournament."

Playing only her second event since contracting COVID-19 last month, Bencic showed no lingering effects in powering to a 6-4 6-3 victory over Kristina Mladenovic.

The one-time world No.3, seeded 22nd this year, opened her season with a run to the quarter-finals at last week's Sydney Tennis Classic and also shapes as a potential title threat if she can negotiate her way through the first week.

Bencic will face American Amanda Anisimova next on Wednesday and looms as a potential fourth-round road block to top-seeded Barty.

Other early winners on the opening day included 15th seed Elina Svitolina, who beat Fiona Ferro 6-1 7-6 (7-4).

Barty opens her title bid on Monday night against Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting