Australian toiler Aleksandar Vukic is one step closer to his maiden grand slam appearance after winning an epic first-round qualifying encounter at the French Open.
Vukic, the world No.190 from Sydney, rallied from a set down and snatched a tense second-set tiebreaker in a 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 victory over Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.
The 24-year-old needs to win two more matches to make the main draw, starting with his second-round qualifying clash with India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran.
Fellow Australian Marc Polmans also advanced to the second round with a convincing 6-2 6-2 win over German Tobias Kamke.
Seeded 12th, Polmans plays Italian Alessandro Giannessi next.
But Chris O'Connell and Alex Bolt both lost their qualifying openers.
Andrew Harris, Max Purcell, Astra Sharma and Arina Rodionova are also attempting to qualify for the claycourt grand slam, which starts on Sunday.
Meanwhile, six players in the men's and women's qualifying draw for the French Open have been withdrawn due to COVID-19 concerns, organisers have said.
Initially, two players and a coach tested positive and three others with confirmed close contact with the coach were withdrawn.
Organisers said later that a player in the women's draw had also tested positive and had been withdrawn.
"The Roland Garros tournament directors can confirm that two players competing in the qualifying tournament have tested positive for COVID-19 and three others have confirmed close contact with a coach who has tested positive for COVID-19," the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said in a statement before the withdrawal of the female player.
"In line with tournament health protocols, the five players will not compete in the qualifying tournament and will self isolate for a period of seven days. In total, some 900 tests have been carried out since Sept. 17."
The FFT plans to allow 5,000 spectators each day following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in France. It previously said the claycourt major would permit a maximum of 11,500 fans per day.
Australian Associated Press