Aussie Duckworth enjoys greatest day

·2-min read

James Duckworth is celebrating a wonderful breakthrough moment in his 12-year professional career after felling one of Wimbledon's dangerous big-serving veterans in Sam Querrey to reach the third round of a grand slam for the first time.

Just three weeks after falling to the 33-year-old American in Stuttgart, Duckworth reckoned he had had done his homework and played a much cannier match on Thursday to beat the former semi-finalist 7-5 6-7 (7-4) 6-3 6-2.

"It feels like one of the biggest days of my career, first time I've made the third round of a slam before, really excited," said the 29-year-old Sydneysider.

After a career full of ups and downs, Duckworth shrugged: "I love tennis, I've thought about these sort of moments a lot.

"These type of experiences are what I think of when I'm doing surgeries and rehab. They're what I train for.

"Sam's a quality opponent, especially on grass. He's got one of the best serves in the world so I knew I'd got my work cut out."

Yet Duckworth went toe-to-toe with Querrey - a former conqueror of champions Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray at the All England Club - on the serving front.

"I've got a pretty lively arm myself," the Aussie noted after serving 14 aces to the 2017 semi-finalist's 17.

At one point, the official speed gun had timed one of Duckworth's serves at 145mph (233.3kph), by far the quickest by any player in the tournament but there must have been a glitch as it was later removed.

"I've been playing well for a good six weeks now," he said.

"Last couple of weeks, I was a point away from a couple of good results and things didn't quite fall my way but my coach was reminding me I'm not far off from a good week, just keep believing."

That good week has come now as Duckworth will be rewarded with at least $A212,000 in prize money and a last-32 meeting with Lorenzo Sonego, the Italian beaten by Alex de Minaur in last weekend's Eastbourne final.

Duckworth cashed in by constantly moving Querrey around the court but was left fuming at himself near the end of the second set which he felt he should have won, and ended up smashing his racquet against his foot.

He then channelled that aggression to better purpose in the final two sets, reeling off an impressive five breaks in all and sealing his triumph with a backhand winner after two hours 20 minutes.

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