Liam Broady and Kyle Edmund are both just one match away from qualifying for the Australian Open for the first time after impressive performances in Melbourne on Thursday.
Liam, 21, edged a fiercely-contested affair with American Jared Donaldson, winning 7-6 (7/4) 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 in a match lasting just over three hours, while Edmund, 20, came from a set down to beat another American, Austin Krajicek, 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-2.
“I played a practice set with Jared a couple of days ago so I knew he was a very good player,” said Broady, who finished the match in style with back-to-back aces. “I expected myself to win but he put up a massive fight, especially on massive points. But I stayed strong in the end and came through it.
“I had really high expectations coming in because I finished last year strongly and it would mean the world to qualify for my first grand slam.”
One of the first people to congratulate Broady was his elder sister Naomi, who had earlier lost in the first round of qualifying to Poland’s Urszula Radwanska.
Broady will face American Michael Russell in the final round of qualifying on Saturday, while Edmund takes on Australian Dane Propoggia.
Broady recovered from an early break of serve in the opening set to lead 3-2, but was then broken for a second time in the seventh game and Radwanska served out for the set with ease.
A double fault from Broady gifted Radwanska an early break in the second set and the world number 149 saved two break points in the eighth game to move within sight of victory.
That seemed to break Broady’s spirit and the 24-year-old committed four unforced errors in the next game – including two double faults – to hand her opponent a second break and a 6-4 6-3 win.
Konta also lost in straight sets to American Anna Tatishvili in a match featuring eight breaks of serve and complaints from both players about the standard of officiating.
The players swapped breaks of serve in the first two games of the match and Konta saved a total of five break points before gifting Tatishvili a 5-4 lead with a double fault.
Tatishvili served out to take the set 6-4 but Konta battled back in the second and was twice a break up, only to lose her serve immediately both times. On the second occasion the world number 147 served three double faults and told umpire Jose Sierra “We need to change you” after a crucial overrule.
Another debatable line call prompted Konta to tell Sierra “You’re shocking, you know that?” as she lost her serve once more in the 11th game and Tatishvili gratefully grabbed her chance to secure a 6-4 7-5 win.