Currently 89th in the world but having been ranked inside the top 20, India's RMV Gurusaidutt displayed what a typical international men's singles in with a chance looks like: great centre of gravity in his movement, smart at managing energy levels, and reacting with assuredness to whatever an opponent throws back.
Gurusaidutt swept aside one of NSW's best all-round players, Michael Fariman, 21-7, 21-14, followed by Malaysia's Jian Shiarng Chiang, 21-16, 21-12.
Aussie Men's Singles Highlight
Sydney's Lucas Defolky and ACT's Anthony Joe returned to court to decide who should go through to the main draw. And it lived up to expectations as a classy match.
Unsurprisingly, Delfoky was slow to warm into proceedings and Joe claimed the first game with his usual energetic proactive style, 21-11. You had to read closely between the lines of his relaxed play to see that Defolky was always up to the task as he calmly evened matters in the second, 22-20.
Their deciding game gave spectators what they hoped for, a neck to neck scoreline of contrasting singles styles where you'd hate for either man not to go into the next round but Joe survived Defolky snatching a lead again at the closing stages, 19-18. Ultimately, the younger left hander triumphed 21-19, largely by not repeating his error of lifting a bit short mid-rallies. Their match earned a sustained applause from the crowd.
"What I learnt from is to fight really hard through the blisters that started appearing during this match", said Anthony Joe at the mixed zone later.