Former world No. 45 Maximilian Marterer is hoping to make it past the Australian Open qualifying and earn a main draw place at Melbourne Park. Marterer, now ranked at No. 228 in the world, didn't make the main draw cut for the opening Grand Slam of the season.
On Wednesday, Marterer beat Prajnesh Gunneswaran to make the qualifying final round at Melbourne Park. "It's always something special to get through the qualies at any Slam that I play," Marterer told the Australian Open website.
"I've never been in the qualies finals of Aussie Open. It will be the first time but I have some good memories already here in Melbourne city and looking forward to the match."
Marterer recalls beating Denis Shapovalov
Marterer, 26, enjoyed his best Grand Slam result at the 2018 French Open.
Back then, Marterer stunned last year's Wimbledon semifinalist Shapovalov 5-7 7-6 (4) 7-5 6-4 en route to making his lone Grand Slam round-of-16. Marterer's run at the 2018 French Open came to an end following a straight-set loss to Rafael Nadal.
"It's obviously memories that last forever, actually. It's the biggest success that I had in my career so far," Marterer said of his 2018 French Open run. "Maybe that helps me also in the Grand Slam matches that I have competed (in) at a really high level already on those big tournaments, and yeah, maybe it's those crucial moments where I have already experienced it before … Maybe that gives me that confidence that I need in those deciding moments."
On Wednesday, Marterer beat Gunneswaran 6-2 7-6 (8). The two players were tied at two games apiece after the opening four games before Marterer claimed three consecutive breaks to win the following seven games and take a 6-2 3-0 lead.
However, Gunneswaran refused to quit as he forced a tie-break -- in which he had three set points -- but failed to realize as Marterer escaped with a straight-set win. Marterer plays Tobias Kamke in the qualifying final round.