19 January - 1 February 2015
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Ze Zhang

Martin Klizan, Denis Kudla, Stephane Robert and Frank Dancevic headline the players through to the final round of men’s qualifying for AO2014.

It was bad news for local hopes however, as Australia's last remaining pair in the qualifying draw, Andrew Harris and John-Patrick Smith, were eliminated in Friday's second round.

Wildcard Harris produced a courageous performance to push Zhang Ze on Show Court 3 after dropping a lopsided first set.

The 23-year-old Zhang cruised through the opening set in 26 minutes, capitalising on two breaks of the Harris serve after the pair had traded games in the early stages.

Despite the 19-year-old Australian breaking Zhang’s serve in the opening game of the second set, Zhang claimed control of the contest and looked to be heading for a simple victory at 3-1 after breaking Harris’ serve on two occasions.

Ranked 342 places below his Chinese opponent, Harris hit back to break Zhang’s serve and level the set at 3-3. However, it was not enough for the Victorian in front of his home crowd as Zhang prevailed 6-2 6-4.

Earlier, John-Patrick Smith was no match for No.4 qualifying seed Denis Kudla as the American advanced to a third round clash with compatriot Alex Kuznetsov.

Unforced errors hindered the left-handed Queenslander, as he committed 41 for the match while managing more winners than his higher-ranked opponent.

Meanwhile, the remaining top seeds progressed as expected in the second round, after top seed Dustin Brown was upset on the opening day of qualifying.

Second seed Martin Klizan was forced to overcome a scare as French wildcard Enzo Couacaud raced to a 3-0 first set lead. Slovakian Klizan recovered to take the first set in a tiebreak before advancing with a 7-6(3) 6-3 win.

Seventh and eighth seeds, Stephane Robert and Frank Dancevic, also advanced to the third round, but in contrasting styles.

Frenchman Robert overcame Belgian player Germain Gigounon in straight-sets, while Dancevic outlasted Bobby Reynolds in a three-set contest which lasted over two hours.

In Friday's other matches, Brown’s first round conqueror Damir Dzumhur continued his winning run with a straight-sets victory over Belgian Niels Desein, 7-6(3) 6-1.

Former top 25 player Paul-Henri Mathieu saw his event ended by Jimmy Wang on Thursday afternoon.

Third round qualifying matches will be played on Saturday with the 16 winners advancing to the main draw, which begins Monday. One lucky loser will also advance, to replace Nicolas Almagro after the Spaniard withdrew from AO2014 with a should injury.

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Post-Tournament
Sunday, 20 April 2014
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