Photograph: Getty Images
27-year-old Australian wildcard Christopher O’Connell’s outstanding Australian Open run has come to an end in the third round after he fell to in form American Maxime Cressy 2-6, 7-6(6), 3-6, 2-6.
“Yeah, obviously it was a great atmosphere out there. I felt good going out there. Felt fresh. Body felt good,” O’Connell said in his post-match press conference.
“But, yeah, up against a completely different player to what I was up against in the first two rounds. Yeah, just had no rhythm out there. He served unbelievable. When he got into the net he just knocked away those volleys. And, yeah, I had no rhythm out there and he was just too good.”
In front of a raucous crowd on Show Court 3, O’Connell faced the tough task of in form American Maxime Cressy. That task was made harder after the Aussie endured what appeared to be a groin injury and was treated multiple times by medics throughout the course of the match.
”I'm pretty sore. I'm seeing the sports doc. I actually did it first point of the match. I think I was pretty nervous and I sort of stumbled wide to a forehand. I felt something. With treatment, it seemed to be all right. I don't know how I'm going to pull up,” O’Connell said.
“But, I mean, regardless, he was too good for me today, so it didn't really hurt me too much.”
After losing the first set, hampered by his injury, O’Connell never gave up and fought his way back to level the match, but was ultimately defeated in four sets.
“The highlight of my career so far making third round. Yeah, played some big matches over the past few days is awesome and great experience. Yeah, I'm gonna take those matches and, yeah, hopefully, yeah, can play some more big matches throughout the year,” O’Connell stated.
This week has reaffirmed the beliefs of many that O’Connell certainly has the capabilities to take his game to the next level and reach the top 100 - which is his goal for the 2022 season.
”The main goal is just top 100, and I feel like I really can get there. I've just got to stay healthy this year and just, yeah, play consistent week in and week out,” O’Connell said.