Infotainment Factory: Aussie men eliminated as Popyrin falls

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Saturday, 19 January 2019

Aussie men eliminated as Popyrin falls


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The last local hope in the Australian Open men's draw is gone after teen sensation Alexei Popyrin fell to Frenchman Lucas Pouille in a epic third round clash at Melbourne Park.

Popyrin lit up Margaret Court Arena on Saturday night when he trailed by two sets and 0-4 in the third set tiebreak but saved a match point and then pushed the clash to five sets.

The 19-year-old wildcard eventually fell just short 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-7 (12-10) 4-6 6-3 with the match finishing after midnight.

Pouille likened the raucous home fans to a Davis Cup tie.

Alexei Popyrin

"I have never played against Australia in the Davis Cup and now I know how it feels," he said after the match.

"The last time I was on this court I lost so I can tell you that two sets in I was thinking about this but I am just very happy.

"He is a great player, he has a bright future and I am just very happy to have got through this one."

In a fearless display against the 28th seed the world No.149 hit 63 winners while Pouille also nailed 64 in a high quality encounter.

Lucas Pouille

Pouille, who hadn't won an Australian Open match in five visits to Melbourne, next takes on Croatian 11th seed Borna Coric.

Popyrin marked himself as a future star of Australian tennis, alongside fellow teen Alex de Minaur, with his tournament showing.

With the drama surrounding Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios, who both made first-round exits, the young pair put fans on notice that a changing of the guard was afoot.

Popyrin's rise from obscurity into the big time was secured on Thursday night when he defeated an admittedly under-the-weather world No.8 Dominic Thiem for a place in the last 32.

And that was underlined by his performance against Pouille.

The last local hope in the Australian Open men's draw is gone after teen sensation Alexei Popyrin fell to Frenchman Lucas Pouille in a epic third round clash at Melbourne Park.

Popyrin lit up Margaret Court Arena on Saturday night when he trailed by two sets and 0-4 in the third set tiebreak but saved a match point and then pushed the clash to five sets.

The 19-year-old wildcard eventually fell just short 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-7 (12-10) 4-6 6-3 with the match finishing after midnight.

Pouille likened the raucous home fans to a Davis Cup tie.

Alexei Popyrin

"I have never played against Australia in the Davis Cup and now I know how it feels," he said after the match.

"The last time I was on this court I lost so I can tell you that two sets in I was thinking about this but I am just very happy.

"He is a great player, he has a bright future and I am just very happy to have got through this one."

In a fearless display against the 28th seed the world No.149 hit 63 winners while Pouille also nailed 64 in a high quality encounter.

Lucas Pouille

Pouille, who hadn't won an Australian Open match in five visits to Melbourne, next takes on Croatian 11th seed Borna Coric.

Popyrin marked himself as a future star of Australian tennis, alongside fellow teen Alex de Minaur, with his tournament showing.

With the drama surrounding Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios, who both made first-round exits, the young pair put fans on notice that a changing of the guard was afoot.

Popyrin's rise from obscurity into the big time was secured on Thursday night when he defeated an admittedly under-the-weather world No.8 Dominic Thiem for a place in the last 32.

And that was underlined by his performance against Pouille.

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