As Andy Murray continues his last minute preparations and Heather Watson enjoys a confidence boosting extended run at the Hobart International event Down Under, those who have yet to confirm their place in the main draw for the Australian Open continue their quest via the qualifiers that are progressing this week. With three rounds for the men to navigate before they can celebrate competing in the main event, it is a tough competition to play in, given the extremely hot on-court conditions typical in Australia at this time of the year.  

After coming through their first two rounds of qualifying, both 20-year-old Kyle Edmund from Beverley and the slightly older 21-year-old Liam Broady from Stockport now stand in the tantalising position of being just one more victory away from rubbing shoulders with some of the world's greats, when the competition starts for 'real' in Melbourne next week.

Edmund is a former quarter-finalist in the junior singles' event at the Australian Open from 2012, so has some experience of the environment he is currently experiencing, as has Broady. He partnered fellow Brit Joshua Ward-Hibbert to the Boys' Doubles' title also in 2012.

The South African-born Edmund continued his winning run in Oz by overcoming the American Austin Krajicek in a hard-fought three-setter, after losing the first set 6-4. Ranked just 192 in the world, Edmund battled back to take the second on a tie-break before blitzing through the deciding set 6-2. His compatriot Broady (ranked 195) had to contend with the precocious American teenager Jared Donaldson, but also came through eventually in three sets that included two tie-breaks.

Broady showed resilience in a match that could have gone either way, but will have been delighted with his 7-6 6-7 6-4 success.

They now move on to the final round of qualifying that is due to take place on Saturday.

There was no such delight for Broady's sister Naomi, nor for another Brit Johanna Konta in the women's singles, as they both departed in round one of their qualifying event. Konta has an interesting background, as she was born in Australia but is of Hungarian descent and now plays for Britain.