(Melbourne) Canadian Rebecca Marino defeated Frenchwoman Jessika Ponchet 6-7 (5), 6-4 and 6-2 to advance to the third round of qualifying at the Australian Open tennis tournament on Thursday.

Marino, 182nd in the world, managed six breaks in the victory. She hit 35 winners, but also made 40 unforced errors against the world’s 133rd racket.

Marino has advanced to the main draw of this major tournament six times, reaching the second round in 2011 and 2021. Last year, she lost in her first match against China’s Zhu Lin.

The British Columbian will now cross swords with her compatriot Katherine Sebov, 162nd, with a ticket to the main draw at stake.

Sebov defeated Ysaline Bonaventure, 6-7 (5), 6-4 and 4-0 since the Belgian, 272nd, gave up.

Sebov was in the main draw in Australia for the first time in his career last year. She lost in the first round against Carolina Garcia, then fourth seed.

Sebov and Marino have faced each other twice in the WTA, each signing a victory.

Furthermore, Canadian Carol Zhao lost 6-3, 6-1 to American Katie Volynets in the second round.

Zhao, 226th in the world, was never really able to threaten Volynets, the third seed in the qualifying table. She defeated Russian Valeria Savinykh 6-3, 7-6 (7) in the first round earlier this week.

The 28-year-old Toronto native also lost her first main draw match in 2024 last week at the Brisbane tournament.

On the men’s side, Montrealer Gabriel Diallo won 4-6, 6-4 and 7-6 (8) against Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, 234th, in the second round of qualifying.

Diallo, 146th, beat Spaniard Pablo Llamas Ruiz in the first round on Monday. He will now try to reach the main draw of a first Grand Slam tournament by facing Belgian David Goffin, 107th.

Earlier on Wednesday, organizers revealed the seeds for the first major tournament of the season, which begins Sunday at Melbourne Park.

There will be two Quebecers among the seeds at the Australian Open in 2024: Félix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Annie Fernandez.

Auger-Aliassime will be the 27th seed in the men’s draw, while Fernandez will be the 32nd seed in the women’s draw.