Germany's Michael Berrer has progressed to the second round of men's singles qualifying at the Australian Open after he overcame Australian challenger, Greg Jones, in three sets.
Seeded 22 in qualifying, Berrer took the first set 7-5, and was strong at the back of the court to force Jones into a number of errors.
In a tight second set struggle, Berrer broke early before Jones fought back and pushed the German to his limits. The set lasted 62 minutes, where the final game saw a gruelling 12 deuces, with Jones eventually levelling the match.
After the break in play, Berrer regained his composure in the final set. His strong serving saw him stroll through to win 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.
The two, having never met before, will be sure to remember the game as a dogfight, where momentum swung evenly for both players.
The Australian became the seventh local to lose on the first day’s play, joining Matt Reid, Arika Santillan, Matthew Barton, Luke Saville, Bradley Mousley and Marc Polmans.
Berrer, who competed in the main draw of the Australian Open from 2007 to 2011 was content with his first match of the year: “I’m very happy that I came through, because it was certainly a tough first game”.
The warm weather at Melbourne Park seemed to favour the Australian, as Berrer said he “needed a bit of time to adjust to the conditions”.
At 33 years of age, another two wins would see Berrer through to his sixth Australian Open main draw, something he is quite excited about: “At my age, you really appreciate it. My body is actually feeling a lot better today, so I couldn’t be happier”.
Berrer is now set to face the winner of the match between Spaniard, Enrique Lopez-Perez, and Australian wildcard entrant, Blake Mott.