Heartbreak for Aussie cult hero in epic
Australia’s Alexei Popyrin has failed to repeat his five set heroics from the first round going down in a topsy turvy clash to South African Lloyd Harris.After posting the biggest victory of his fledgling career on Tuesday over Belgian David Goffin, the Australian cult hero, who received plenty of encouragement from a parochial home crowd, couldn’t pull out his second five-set victory in as many days, falling to Harris 2-6 6-1 3-6 7-6 3-6.Watch the Australian Open with live streams of every court at 9Now. Click here to start watching!The Australian, who is based out of France and had to go through quarantine before the tournament, was visibly fatigued late in the three hour match but still managed to display the same resolve he exhibited in the win over the 13th seed, just not at a consistent level.After falling a set behind, Popyrin twice managed to square the match to push it into a decider, with the fourth set alone taking a full hour. However, it was clear he was struggling and his worn-out body was making it difficult to win consecutive points.Popyrin was gunning to make the Australian Open third round for the third time. (AP)The match was in the balance during the sixth game of the decider as the two players went back and forth on deuce for over ten minutes. Harris eventually forged ahead 4-2 with a huge forehand winner to break Popyrin’s serve and set up the win.Harris, who racked up 25 aces for the match to Popyrin’s 21, served to love the next game, yet the 113-ranked Aussie refused to give in, taking the next game with an ace.Harris had other ideas though and finished the job, serving to love and ending Popyrin’s hopes of reaching the Australian Open third round for the third time.It was his third loss to Harris in as many meetings, and while both men scored the same amount of winners with 49 each, unforced errors hurt the crowd favourite.For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
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