Australian Open; Omar Jasika among locals to qualify for main draw

A cramping opponent unable to play on opened the door Sydneysider Dane Sweeny to seize a maiden Australian Open berth and a six-figure pay day on a mixed final day of qualifying for local hopefuls.

Sweeny, 22, fought back after losing the first set to Belgian Zizou Bergs in the do-or-die clash at Melbourne Park and took the second-set 7-5.

The world number 256, eyeing off a guaranteed $120,000 pay day just for making the main draw of the tournament, was up 2-0 in the third and deciding set when Bergs started cramping badly, and couldn’t go on ensuring Sweeny will play his first-ever main draw match at a grand slam next week.

Sweeny’s victory came after Melbourne left-hander Omar Jasika secured his spot in the main draw of the Australian Open for the first time since 2017.

Jasika, 26 and ranked 341 in the world, had to rally after losing the first set 6-2 to Jordan’s Abedallah Shelbayh before storming home and taking the next two sets 6-1, 6-2 to secure a spot in the opening round and a guaranteed pay day of $120,000.

Their presence boosted the contingent of Australians in the main draw to 20 players with action to begin on Sunday.

But while the jubilant trio duo won through to the main action, Destanee Aiava, Priscilla Hon and Maya Joint were among those to miss out, all losing their final matches.

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