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MELBOURNE, Australia (Kyodo) Aiko Nakamura qualified for a Grand Slam event for the first time on Saturday when she beat Czech player Lenka Nemeckova in straight sets in the third round of the women’s qualifying singles at the Australian Open.

The 21-year-old future prospect, who beat compatriot Ai Sugiyama in her first appearance in the main draw of a WTA Tour event at last year’s Wismilak International in Bali, booked her place in the first round after seeing off Nemeckova 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-5).

Yuka Yoshida missed out after being beaten by China’s Nannan Liu 6-4, 6-3 but Takao Suzuki earned a place in the men’s draw for the third time after downing Kristian Pless of Denmark 7-5, 6-4.

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