Second seed Stefan Kozlov survived a scare against Australian Blake Mott before advancing to the second round of the Australian Open boys’ singles event on Sunday.
After Kozlov took the opening set in a tiebreak, 17-year-old Mott squared the contest with a late break to claim the second set.
With the home crowd behind him on Show Court 3, Mott reeled off five consecutive games from late in the second set, racing to a 3-0 advantage in the deciding set.
But the 15-year-old American showed plenty of character, recovering from 1-4 to 5-5 with consecutive breaks of the Mott serve.
With his opponent gaining all the momentum, things got worse for Mott as he suffered an injury to his ankle. He continued for a couple of games, before being forced to retire from the match with his movement severely hindered.
Kozlov prevailed, 7-6(5) 4-6 6-5, in just under three hours to set up a second round encounter with Denmark’s Simon Friis Soendergaard.
Top seed Alexander Zverev had a much easier pass to the second round, proving too strong for Nino Serdarusic.
The 195cm German won 6-3 6-4 in just under an hour, to improve on last year’s first round exit from the Australian Open.
Fourth seed Roman Safiullin joined the list of top boys’ seeds eliminated in the opening round, blowing a one-set lead against Slovakian Alex Molcan.
Molcan won 3-6 7-6(2) 6-4, as Safiullin joined No.3 seed Johan Sebastien Tatlot and Italian sixth seed Filippo Baldi as early departures from the tournament.
Australian wildcard Oliver Anderson moved into the next round with a straight-sets victory over Brazilian Rafael Matos.
The 15-year-old won 6-4 6-3, and will join compatriots Akira Santillan, Bradley Mousley, Harry Bourchier, Marc Polmans and Omar Jasika in the final 32.
In the girls’ singles first round, No.1 seed Varvara Flink cruised through to the next stage of the tournament on Court 20.
The Russian - ranked third in the world amongst juniors - defeated qualifier Qiu Yu Ye 7-5 6-4.
The top seven seeds won through to the second round of the girls’ draw, with third seed Shilin Xu, sixth seed Jelena Ostapenko, and seventh seed Ziyue Sun all progressing on Sunday.
Five Australians made it to the second round, with Naiktha Bains and Olivia Tjandramulia to join Destanee Aiava, Kimberly Birrell and Lizette Cabrera.
Birrell will play third seed Anhelina Kalinina, with Cabrera to face No.4 seed Elizaveta Kulichkova in a tough second round draw for the local hopes.