Aussie tennis staring at historic Wimbledon low
AUSTRALIA could make unwanted tennis history on Tuesday night if the opening-day wipe-out is repeated.
With Nick Kyrgios, Ashleigh Barty, John Millman and Andrew Whittington all departing in contrasting circumstances, Australia has just five singles contenders left.
And should Daria Gavrilova, Arina Rodionova, Bernard Tomic, Jordan Thompson and Thanasi Kokkinakis fail to strike a blow, it will mark the worst Australian performance at Wimbledon in the professional era.
Not once, since tennis allowed professionals back into grand slam competition in 1968, has Australia failed to have singles representation in the second round here.
But that is a possible - and very real - prospect.
Aussie No.1 Gavrilova has the best shot of survival as she takes on Czech qualifier Petra Martic.
But the rest of the Aussie contingent will start as outsiders.
Tomic takes on German veteran Mischa Zverev, who bowled over Andy Murray at the Australian Open and is seeded 27th.
Tomic will take some confidence from handing the left-hander a straight-sets belting in Eastbourne last week.
Thompson meets Spanish 25th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who advanced to the fourth round here last year.
Still on the comeback trail, Kokkinakis faces 29th seed and US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro.
And qualifier Rodionova challenges Russian 16th seed and good friend Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
The last time there were no Australian men in the second round was in 2012. It has been 15 years since our women failed to reach the round 64.
Australia was not alone in its first-day despair.
Switzerland lost fifth seed Stan Wawrinka in a mild upset to Russian talent Daniil Medvedev.
Fernando Verdasco (Spain) and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Croatia) were also among the seeds to perish.