MELBOURNE, Australia - After sealing her place in the first Grand Slam main draw of her career with her fourth ace of the day, Martina Trevisan raised her arms to the sky in joy.
The 26-year-old Italian had fallen at the final hurdle of qualifying on three previous occasions, including at the Australian Open last year to Zhu Lin, but a 6-4, 6-3 victory over former World No.5 Eugenie Bouchard had finally seen her break through in style.
Having nabbed the first set with a single break of serve in the final game, Trevisan dominated the second with spreading groundstrokes that she was able to repeatedly send from line to line. The left-hander would strike 23 winners, while Auckland quarterfinalist Bouchard's minor renaissance was undone by 29 unforced errors from the Canadian. World No.154 Trevisan would wobble in attempting to close out the milestone win as her lead was cut from 5-0 to 5-3, but was able to serve it out at the second time of asking.
Also using her serve to power her way into a maiden Slam was the 19-year-old No.31 seed Ann Li, three of whose eight total aces today came in the final game of a 5-7, 7-6(9), 6-2 upset of No.1 seed Ana Bogdan. The 2017 Wimbledon junior finalist, who also qualified in Auckland last week to make her WTA main draw debut, saved two match points in the second-set tiebreak before pulling away to wrap up the second Top 100 scalp of her career in two hours and 26 minutes.
Six out of 16 qualifiers were decided on Day Four of the preliminary event: joining Trevisan and Li were Shelby Rogers, who came through an all-American derby against No.30 seed Caroline Dolehide 6-4, 6-4, and Harriet Dart, navigating through Australian Open qualifying for the second year running with a 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Giulia Gatto-Monticone. Having a harder time of the last round were No.20 seed Monica Niculescu, who battled past No.11 seed Stefanie Voegele 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 15 minutes, and No.12 seed Liudmila Samsonova, who maintained her excellent start to the season by surviving 18-year-old No.24 seed Wang Xiyu 6-4, 2-6, 7-5. In a ferocious, hard-hitting affair that found both players seeking to impose their power on the other, it was the Russian who was able to get on the front foot most often in the third set - and to execute with sufficient accuracy once there.
The remaining second-round matches saw the qualifying competition's large teenage cohort continue to impress, with the final round ultimately featuring nine 19-year-olds or younger. Two of those emerged on top of intriguing all-teenage tilts: 18-year-old No.10 seed Catherine McNally was too consistent for 16-year-old Daria Lopatetska, playing just her third match after returning from knee surgery last year, and the American sliced her way through 6-2, 6-3. Meanwhile, 19-year-old No.3 seed Varvara Gracheva - whose 2019 rise from World No.447 to World No.105 was one of last year's most overlooked - took out 18-year-old former World No.96 Olga Danilovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. McNally will now face Nottingham quarterfinalist Elena-Gabriela Ruse, while former World No.45 Johanna Larsson stands between Gracheva and her Grand Slam main draw debut.
One of the most eye-catching performances of the day came from 18-year-old Wang Xinyu. The Chinese teenager needed just 44 minutes to sweep past No.28 seed Allie Kiick 6-0, 6-1, landing 22 winners in the process and posting 100% records on both break points (six from six) and net points (seven from seven), and will now face No.5 seed Anna Kalinskaya in a bid to return to the Australian Open main draw, where she made her Grand Slam debut in 2018 after winning the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Playoff.
Elsewhere, 17-year-old Roland Garros junior champion Leylah Fernandez survived the soft touch and finesse of Mayo Hibi 6-4, 6-4 in a match that featured 12 breaks of serve, while 19-year-old No.18 seed Kaja Juvan halted wildcard Storm Sanders' singles comeback 6-0, 2-6, 6-3 in a seesaw encounter. There were also American winners after two epic tussles: Danielle Lao overhauled No.27 seed Kurumi Nara 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-3 in two hours and 31 minutes, while Sachia Vickery staved off a last-minute fightback to upset No.4 seed Katarina Zavatska 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. The World No.151 would keep a cool head even after the Ukrainian came from 1-4 down to level the final set at 4-4, shaking off the momentum shift by reeling off eight of the last nine points of the match.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2020: Final qualifying round
 Ann LI (USA) d.  Ana BOGDAN (ROU) 5-7, 7-6(9), 6-2
 Nao HIBINO (JPN) vs. Lara ARRUABARRENA (ESP)
 Varvara GRACHEVA (RUS) vs. Johanna LARSSON (SWE)
Sachia VICKERY (USA) vs.  Barbora KREJCIKOVA (CZE)
 Anna KALINSKAYA (RUS) vs. WANG Xinyu (CHN)
 Natalia VIKHLYANTSEVA (RUS) vs.  Kaja JUVAN (SLO)
Leylah FERNANDEZ (CAN) vs. Danielle LAO (USA)
Shelby ROGERS (USA) d.  Caroline DOLEHIDE (USA) 6-4, 6-4
Martina TREVISAN (ITA) d. Eugenie BOUCHARD (CAN) 6-4, 6-3
 Catherine MCNALLY (USA) vs. Elena-Gabriela RUSE (ROU)
 Monica NICULESCU (ROU) vs.  Stefanie VOEGELE (SUI) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
 Liudmila SAMSONOVA (RUS) d.  WANG Xiyu (CHN) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
 Greet MINNEN (BEL) vs.  Barbara HAAS (AUT)
Elisabetta COCCIARETTO (ITA) vs.  Tereza MARTINCOVA (CZE)
Harriet DART (GBR) d. Giulia GATTO-MONTICONE (ITA) 6-1, 6-3
Destanee AIAVA (AUS) vs. Antonia LOTTNER (GER)