Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi enjoyed a taste of big-stage tennis at the Next Gen ATP Finals last season, and the 21-year-old is on the brink of another milestone moment after advancing to the final round of Australian Open qualifying. With a 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 win against home favourite Alex Bolt on Wednesday, the 22nd seed moved within one victory of his Grand Slam debut.

Arnaldi is making his third attempt to qualify for a major after falling one match short at the US Open last season. He will face another Australian next in Max Purcell, who reached the 2022 Australian Open men’s doubles final with countryman Matthew Ebden.

The 24-year-old Purcell — who was the beneficiary of a retirement from second seed Marco Cecchinato his first qualifying match — was a 6-4, 7-5 winner against Damir Dzumhur on Wednesday. He is seeking his second main-draw singles appearance at his home Slam after his debut in 2020.

[ATP APP]

American Brandon Holt is bidding to qualify for his second consecutive major after winning three three-setters to earn his place in the US Open main draw. The 24-year-old, a former college star at the University of Souther California, defeated Gastao Elias 6-2, 7-6(5) on Wednesday to set up a final-round matchup against Marco Trungelliti. 

Holt made the most of his opportunity at the US Open as he scored one of the upsets of the 2022 season, stunning countryman Taylor Fritz in four first-round sets.

Zizou Bergs, seeded 20th, and 21st seed Aleksandar Vukic also advanced in early Wednesday action. Belgium’s Bergs defeated Tomas Barrios Vera 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, while Australia’s Vukic downed Thiago Agustin Tirante 7-6(4), 6-3.

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