POPYRIN, THOMPSON THE LAST AUSSIES TO FALL IN MELBOURNE



There are no longer any Australians left in either singles draw at the Melbourne Summer Set after Jordan Thompson and Alexei Popyrin were eliminated on Thursday.


The pair showed glimpses of their best work but both were ultimately outdone in tough, three-set encounters.


Thompson opened proceedings on Margaret Court Arena against up and coming Finn Emil Ruusuvuori, losing 6-7(3), 7-5, 3-6 in two hours and 49 minutes. It was a tight affair for much of the morning, with the match punctuated by long rallies as they jostled for the ascendency.


The Aussie is still finding his groove and conditioning after missing time late in 2021 due to COVID-19. He’ll look to improve his serve after winning just 65% of points on his first attempt while conceding 11 breakpoint opportunities for the match.


Following on from his singles match, Thompson graced the court with fellow Aussie Matt Reid but the duo was defeated 5-7, 6-4, 5-10 by Stefano Travaglia and Hans Hach Verdugo on Rod Laver Arena.


The second Aussie in singles action was Popyrin who came up short against Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, losing 3-6, 6-4, 3-6 in an hour and 56 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.


The Aussie struggled on serve as well, landing his first serve just 57% of the time whilst only winning 53% of points on his second serve. Despite that, he managed to send down 15 aces - a sign of what he can do when he lands it in.


Popyrin will look to gather some form and momentum ahead of the Australian Open when he contests the Sydney Classic next week.


In a turn of fortune for Aussie fans, 2021 US Open doubles champions Sam Stosur and Shuai Zhang won their way through to the semifinals after defeating Aussie Monique Adamczak and Xinyun Han 7-5, 6-2 in an hour and a half.


Also on the winners’ list was Astra Sharma, who partnered up with Viktorija Golubic to defeat Ekaterine Gorgodze and Irina Bara 5-7, 6-4, 12-10 in an hour and 40 minutes.


Out on Court 14, the wildcard pairing of Destanee Aiava and Lizette Cabrera proved too strong for fourth seeded Aussie Ellen Perez and Greet Minnen, winning 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and four minutes.


Closing out the day from an Aussie perspective was Arina Rodionova who unfortunately lost her doubles match with Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove. The pair lost 7-6(5), 4-6, 5-10 to Bernarda Pera and Katerina Siniakova in an hour and 38 minutes.