Popyrin to ‘cause damage’ at Wimbledon
Alexei Popyrin has revealed that Pat Cash is a 'great motivator' and is backing him on the grass court at Wimbledon, while Arina Rodionova qualifies for main draw.
The 19-year-old sealed his place with a 6-3 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (8-6) victory over American Bjorn Fratangelo to bolster Australia's men's contingent to seven.
Popyrin joins Alex de Minaur, Nick Kyrgios, John Millman, Jordan Thompson, Matt Ebden and Bernard Tomic in the main draw.
Popyrin has linked up 1987 champion Pat Cash for the grass court season with an aim to develop a more offensive game style.
"I'm definitely enjoying that," Popyrin said.
"It's always special to have a legend in the game on your side, in your camp, and he's definitely been giving me a lot of advice, a lot of tips here and there, especially on the
"He's just a great motivator before the match."
Guaranteed $81,500 in prizemoney, Popyrin has carnage in mind as he ventures to the home of tennis.
"Going into any tournament I think I can cause damage, especially on grass. I feel it suits my game so hopefully I can cause some damage," he said.
"It's definitely a dream come true. I did it the hard way today but I'm happy to be in the main draw.
"It feels more real than gaining wildcards into the Australian Open, French Open.
"I thought I deserved them but going through qualifying, it's a great achievement for me."
Arina Rodionova beat American Danielle Lao 0-6 6-1 6-1 to join Ash Barty, Ajla Tomljanovic, Daria Gavrilova and Sam Stosur in the main draw.
The Victorian was watched by her husband and former footballer Ty Vickery as she turned a fluctuating contest to advantage.
"I have now a couple of days to maybe take off and recover and get my body ready for main draw and then just it's another challenge and I'm very excited," she said.
"I love playing there. Just take it one match at a time again.
"I'm sure this year will be very different (to when 2017, when she also qualified and was the only Australian to win a main draw match).
"We have a field of (Australian) players that's much better this year.
"We have obviously Ash Barty, who hopefully I think she has a pretty good chance to win the whole thing.
"Playing main draw of a slam, that's what we play tennis for,"
Victorian Andrew Harris was eliminated in the final round by French top seed Corentin Moutet 6-2 6-4 6-4.
Jason Kubler also stumbled at the last hurdle with a 6-3 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-3 loss to Japan's Yasutaka Uchiyama.