JAMES MCGEE TOOK the first step towards the main draw at the Australian Open with a straight sets win on Wednesday morning.
McGee came through a first-set tiebreak against Matija Pecotic of Croatia before seeing out a 7-6(3) 7-5 win in Melbourne Park.
Ranked 195th in the world, the Dubliner is bidding to make the main draw at a Grand Slam for only the second time in his career.
He will now face France’s Vincent Millot, world number 143, in the second round.
McGee got off to the best possible start when he broke Pecotic’s serve in the very first game but the Croatian was immediately back on level terms with a break of his own.
A tight opening set was at McGee’s mercy as he broke to go 6-5 up and serve for the set, but two double faults proved costly and allowed Pecotic to force a tiebreak before Ireland’s number one ran out 7-3 winner.
McGee took control of the second set with another early break and had a chance to serve for the match at 5-3.
But Pecotic, ranked 524, refused to go without a fight and levelled the set at five games apiece before McGee finally broke his resistance to progress.
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