Australian Open: Gauff, Mmoh plot second-round upsets in Melbourne

Gauff will face fifth seed Elina Svitolina while Mmoh will take on former champion Rafael Nadal in their respective second round matches.

Coco Gauff will want to put her best foot forward when she takes on Elina Svitolina on Thursday- AP

American teenager Coco Gauff will be eager to pull off another upset in her fledgling career when she faces fifth seed Elina Svitolina, while compatriot Michael Mmoh will be hoping to upset Rafa Nadal in the Australian Open second round on Thursday.

Gauff was one of the Australian Open's biggest success stories last year as she stunned Venus Williams, Sorana Cirstea and Naomi Osaka en route to the fourth round, but  early exits at the U.S Open and French Open last year halted her rise. 

"I'm going to go out there and have fun," Gauff said. "She's a great player and I know it's going to be a tough match, but I'm just going to embrace the opportunity and try to play well under the pressure."

Another player looking to embrace the spotlight will be American qualifier Mmoh, who outlasted Serbian Viktor Troicki to earn a shot at world number two Nadal.

The Spaniard has won 25 of 26 matches against qualifiers at Grand Slams, although question marks remain over his fitness, with the Spaniard hampered by a back injury during his first-round victory against Laslo Djere.

ALSO READ: Nadal back in form as he cruises past Laslo Djere

If world number 177 Mmoh pulls off the upset, he will be the lowest-ranked player to defeat Nadal at a Grand Slam.

Australians Ash Barty and Daria Gavrilova will put their friendship on hold when they clash during the day session at Rod Laver Arena, with Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas also in action against local wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Russia's ATP Cup heroes open and close out the action at the John Cain Arena, with seventh seed Andrey Rublev facing Thiago Monteiro and fourth seed Daniil Medvedev meeting Roberto Carballes Baena.

Russian-born Sofia Kenin continues her title defence against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi.