Wildcard Olivia Gadecki was the first Aussie through to the second round of the 2023 Australian Open, defeating Polina Kudermetova 7-5, 6-1.
It was the 20-year-old’s first win in the main draw of a grand slam.
The world No.199 clinched the first break to win the opening set – those two games eventually forming part of a run of seven straight games to race out to a 5-0 lead in the second set.
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Kudermetova did manage to get on the board, before Gadecki, from the Gold Coast, calmly served it out.
Mentored at the slam by retired champion Ash Barty, Gadecki conceded just nine points on serve for the match.
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With her opening round victory, the promising youngster will pocket $158,000 for her efforts. That will increase significantly if she can win again in round two.
“I actually can’t believe it. I mean wow … I’m speechless,” she told Nine after the match.
“(My) home slam, my first ever grand slam main-draw win.
“A girl could only dream, you know.”
Match Highlights: Polina Kudermetova v Olivia Gadecki
Immediately after her win, Gadecki embraced family in the crowd – including her mum Natalia.
“She’s sacrificed and dedicated a lot of time and effort into my career, so this win really means a lot,” Gadecki said of her mum.
Gadecki also gave a nod to the retiring Sam Stosur, who will play her final professional tournament in both the women’s and mixed doubles draws.
“Sam had an amazing career, but I guess it’s time for the next-gen to come through and I’m to follow in her footsteps,” she said.
She will face Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk – who knocked out No.28 seed Amanda Anisimova – in round two.
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