Ben Weekes secured a major boost for the home challengers on the first day of the Queensland Open defeating Japanese second seed Takuya Miki.
With world No. 9 Miki playing his first tournament since July after a shoulder injury ruled him out of competition at the back end of 2014, Weekes finished the stronger in their first round match in Brisbane for a 36 64 75 victory.
Weekes will now play an enticing rematch of his Perry New Zealand Open final on Monday against Brazil's Daniel Rodriguess who defeated him in three sets, stretching his unbeaten record for the new season to five matches.
Elsewhere, world No. 1 junior 17-year-old Alfie Hewett claimed a tremendous first round win in his first ever match in Australia, edging out Japan’s former world No. 3 Satosh Saida 76(4) 76(3). Hewett progresses to a quarterfinal against top seed Takashi Sanada after Japan’s world No. 8 started his campaign with a resounding 60-60 victory over Australia’s Jerry Markoja.
Third seed Adam Kellerman, who faces his compatriot Weekes later in the month in an Australian Open wild card play-off, won his all-Australian first round match in Brisbane against Anderson Parker 60 62.
Kellerman will meet Malaysia’s Abu Samah Borhan for a place in the last four after Borhan began 2015 by defeating his higher ranked Argentinian opponent Ezequiel Casco 62 62.
Spain’s Daniel Caverzaschi and fifth seed Evans Maripa of South Africa complete the quarterfinal line-up.
Mixed success for Australian women
Australia's three female players had mixed success in the three first round women's singles matches, as Russia's Polina Skairova held of Luba Josevski 60 26 62 to set up a quaterfinal meeting with four seed Charlotte Famin of France.
AtHowever, there was better from Sarah Calati as the New Zealand Open runner-up earned a 62 64 win over American Elizabeth Williams to set up a quarterfinal against German top seed and world No. 8 Katharina Kruger, the women’s wild card for the Australian Open at the end of the month.
At the other send of the women’s draw, seconds seed Kgothatso Montjane will play Brazil’s Natalia Mayara for a quarterfinal berth after Mayra’s 63 63 win over Australian Janel Manns.
With four players contesting the first quad singles draw of 2015 in a round-robin competition, the first day of action saw home favourite and world No. 2 Dylan Alcott beat Shota Kawano of Japan 61 62, while world No. 5 Jamie Burdekin edged out fellow Brit Antony Cotterill 63 75.