Bolt a late bolter as Aussies scent Wimbledon

Alex Bolt's adventure as a last-minute inclusion at the qualifying tournament could take him all the way to the Wimbledon main draw after the Australian southpaw powered his way into a winner-takes-all third-round clash at nearby Roehampton.

The experienced 31-year-old, whose great claim to fame is as the man who beat the now world no.1 Jannik Sinner in his first Wimbledon match also at Roehampton in 2019, is one of five Australians who will make the main draw if they win their final-round qualifying ties on Thursday.

Bolt and James Duckworth, in the men's event, and Olivia Gadecki, Talia Gibson and  Maddison Inglis all qualified on a sun-baked Wednesday for their potentially lucrative showdowns.

Sydneysider James Duckworth is a match away from qualifying for Wimbledon. (AP PHOTO)

Just earning a place in the first-round of the Wimbledon main draw is worth £60,000 ($A114,000) and nobody would be more astonished to pick up that payday than 31-year-old Bolt, who was about to enjoy his lunch on Monday when he got the late call-up, as an alternate, to play the first round.

Bolt got the call at 10.50 following an injury to Argentine Nicolas Kicker's original opponent and, within 10 minutes was donned all in his whites ready for action. He then won 6-1 6-4, ignorance evidently bliss as he knew nothing of his opponent.

The world No.234's magic carpet ride continued as the leftie swept past German Rudolf Molleker by the same 6-1 6-4 scoreline in just an hour to set up a winner-takes-all clash for one of the prized 16 men's qualifying spots against 22-year-old Swiss Leandro Riedi.

"It's great," said Bolt, the South Australian from Murray Bridge, whose best ever result may have been his 2021 win in the Wimbledon first round over Serb Filip Krajinovic, then the world No.44.

But setbacks have plagued Bolt, with elbow trouble requiring surgery in 2022 while a pelvic injury sidelined him last year.

Duckworth defeated American Nicolas Moreno de Alboran 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 to continue his march, hammering 27 winners past the Spanish-born, English-educated New Yorker to set up a clash with Mark Lajal, the world 262 from Estonia, in which the in-form Sydneysider will start a big favourite.

Olivia Gadecki is one of three Australian women in the final round of qualifying. (Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS)

In the women's draw, Gold Coast's Gadecki beat Frenchwoman Harmony Tan 4-6 6-4 6-2 in a terrific comeback, decorated by her 36 winners, while Perth's Inglis, who like Bolt was only drafted in late after being originally an alternate, outclassed Serbian Natalija Stevanovic 6-3 6-0.

The one guaranteed Australian winner of the day came as 20-year-old Gibson, from Perth, beat Melbourne's Destanee Aiava 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-5.

World No.178 Gibson's reward is a tough third-round clash with top seed, American Katie Volynets, the world No.71 who's fresh from winning a WTA Challenger in Croatia.

Gadecki, ranked 177, should have more chance in her 'final' against Frenchwoman Elsa Jacquemot, the world No.151, while world No.243 Inglis faces a Ukrainian, Yuliia Starodubtseva, who's 90 places ahead of her in the rankings.

There was disappointment, though, for Kim Birrell and Arina Rodionova, who've both had spells as Australia's No.1 over the past year and were both seeded in qualifying.

Birrell lost to Romania's Anca Todoni 6-7 (7-9) 7-5 6-4, while Rodionova was beaten 7-5 7-6 (8-6) by Nuria Parrizas Diaz.

Maya Joint also departed the women's competition, while Li Tu got knocked out of the men's.