Australian Open 2013: James Ward & Jamie Baker win

Jamie Baker

Australian Open

Date:
January 14-27
Venue:
Melbourne Park
Coverage:
BBC Sport website (daily live text commentaries), Radio 5 live (commentaries) & TV/online streaming (both finals)

Jamie Baker and James Ward are through to the final round of qualifying at the Australian Open after hard-fought wins in round two.

Baker, the British number two, survived a fightback from Italian 19th seed Matteo Viola to win 3-6 6-2 6-4.

And compatriot Ward beat Germany's Mischa Zverev 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 6-4.

However, in the women's draw British number four Johanna Konta suffered an agonising 7-5 2-6 8-6 loss to China's Yi-Miao Zhou after three hours.

Baker, ranked 246 in the world, will try to make the main draw at Melbourne Park for only the second time in his career when he faces Donald Young on Saturday.

The Scot, 26, held his nerve in a tense final set against Viola on Court Eight, missing a break point to go 4-0 up and soon finding himself back at 4-4.

Watched by a small but vociferous British contingent on Court Eight, Baker clung on to his serve in game nine and broke at the decisive moment, letting out a huge roar on sealing victory.

Baker and Young have met twice before, with one win apiece and the Briton winning last time out in Eastbourne seven months ago.

Young, 23, was once hailed as the next great American hope but has struggled to live up to that billing and is currently ranked 189 in the world.

A straight-sets win over James Blake on Thursday will have given his confidence a boost after a dreadful 2012 that saw him win just five of his 29 matches.

The British success continued on Court Eight when Ward came through against Zverev without dropping serve once in two hours and 35 minutes.

Zverev, a former world number 45, took the first set by dominating the tie-break but from then on it was the Englishman in control, a single break proving enough in the second and third sets.

Ward will take on another German, Julian Reister, on Saturday as he looks to repeat last year's successful run through qualifying in Melbourne.

Over on Court Eight, Konta was involved in her second three-set battle in 24 hours, and another victory looked on the cards when she broke with Zhou serving for the match.

It was 21-year-old Australian-born Konta who finally gave way, however, framing a forehand to give Zhou victory on her second match point.

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