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Bogdanovic, Ward closer to Aussie open

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 13:00

Bogdanovic, 171st in the ATP rankings, beat Austria’s world number 687 Martin Slanar 6-4 6-3 and has two further qualifying rounds to navigate as he bids to reach the main draw.

Ward, 22, had a marginally tougher assignment against Australian Matt Reid but posted a 6-4 6-4 victory.

Having spent time hitting with Rafael Nadal last month, Ward, 261st in the world, ousted the 503rd-ranked Reid to move a step closer to joining the Spanish superstar in the first grand slam of the year.

Ward said: “It wasn’t easy. It was difficult because he was serving very well and he’s a young guy who has had some good results and they obviously think a lot of him here.”

Ireland also had two winners on the first day of qualifying.

Conor Niland beat Finland’s Henri Kontinen 6-4 6-4, and Louk Sorensen knocked out Monaco’s Benjamin Balleret 7-6 (8/6) 6-3.

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