An Australian wildcard has stunned one of Germany’s biggest stars in the opening round of the Australian Open.

Australian wildcard Chris O’Connell is through to the second round of the Australian Open following a shock straight-sets win over German world No.37 Jan-Lennard Struff.

O’Connell, 26, moves to the second round of a Grand Slam for just the second time in his career after progressing past the first round at last year’s US Open. He was eliminated in the opening round in both the 2017 and 2019 Australian Open.

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The Aussie, who’s ranked 121st in the world, was simply a class above his German opponent on Court Seven at Melbourne Park, winning 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

In his press conference after the match O’Connell said he felt comfortable despite being tested in the opening two sets.

Jan-Lennard Struff

“Yeah, I felt awesome out there, pretty relaxed and calm,” he said.

“I was serving well, but he was also serving well.

“So, yeah, the first couple sets ended up in a tiebreak.

“I just felt that my game lifted slightly. I just made a few more returns in the tiebreaks both sets. Really that was a slight edge.

“Then, yeah, I felt like I just ran away with it a little bit in the third set.”

O’Connell will now face the winner of world No.13 Roberto Bautista Agut and Moldovan Radu Albot on Wednesday.

Hailing from Sydney’s northern beaches, O’Connell admitted his preparation was slightly impacted with the region forced into lockdown during December and January.

“Yeah, I was impacted a little bit,” he said.

“I’m from the northern part of the northern beaches. Yeah, it was a bit tough there for a little bit.

“But I managed to get in a little bit of training. A little bit stressful at times, but it was okay.”

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