Canada’s Marino tops Rakhimova in qualifying, moves on to Australian Open’s main draw

Canada’s Rebecca Marino is through to the main draw at the Australian Open after edging Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(10) in the final round of qualifying Thursday.

Rakhimova broke Marino early in the first set, but the 31-year-old Vancouver native used her powerful serve to stage a comeback, firing 24 aces across the match.

Marino, currently No. 146 in the WTA rankings, dominated across the second set, winning all three available break points before taking a back-and-forth third set in the tiebreak.

A former world No. 38, Marino stunned many at the National Bank Open in Montreal in August, gutting out several upset wins before losing to No. 1 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the third round.

Marino joins fellow Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., in the women’s singles draw for the first tennis major of the year. Fernandez comes into the tournament as the No. 23 seed and will face Australian wild card Maddison Inglis in the first round.

On the men’s side, Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime is seeded ninth and will face open against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori, while Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., ranked 14th, will face Serbia’s Laslo Djere, ranked No. 52.

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