James McGee takes first step on road to Australian Open
The Irish number one Croatia’s Matija Pecotic in straight sets, 7-6, 7-5 in Melbourne
James McGee is two matches away from qualifying for the Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
James McGee won his first match of the Australian Open Qualification tournament in Melbourne on Wednesday morning. The Irish number one must win two more matches if he is to qualify for his first major Australian tournament.
McGee won a place in the first round of the US Open in 2013, having made it through the qualification phase. But he subsequently fell to Kazakh Aleksandr Nedovyesov in four sets, having taken the first set 6-4.
The unseeded Irishman defeated Croatia’s Matija Pecotic in straight sets, 7-6, 7-5 to set-up a second round meeting with Vincent Millot from France, who is ranked 30 in the draw.
The 29-year-old advanced past Pecotic 7-3 after a tiebreak in the first set before breaking the Serbian in the final game of the second set to progress.
With an ATP ranking of 195 in the world McGee faces the left hander as slight underdog as Millot is currently ranked at 143. The 30-year-old comes into the match with more Grand Slam experience than McGee and in the past has played in Grand Slam first rounds at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the Australian Open, making it to the second round in Australia in 2014.
McGee, who agonisingly lost in the final round of qualifying in 2016, has a break of a day before facing the Frenchman on Friday.