TRIO OF AUSSIES FALL ON NIGHT TWO OF THE AUS OPEN


Alexei Popyrin, Alex Bolt and Storm Sanders have suffered first round defeats on the second night of the Australian Open.

In front of a raucous Show Court 3 crowd, 22-year-old Alexei Popyrin went down in a roller coaster five-set battle with Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 5-7, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, 3-6.

In the three hour, 22-minute battle, Popyrin managed to come from a set behind twice to level the scoreboard, but was unable to prevail despite having a jam-packed electric Show Court 3 crowd right behind him.

The rising Aussie, who oozes x-factor slapped a whopping 62 winners past the Frenchman and won 76% of points on his first serve, but capitalised on just 3/16 break point opportunities, which ultimately led to his defeat.


Behind Show Court 3, Australian wildcard Alex Bolt was in action on Court 6, but was unfortunately no match for the highly-rated Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, slumping to a 3-6, 3-6, 4-6 defeat.

Bolt, who plays his best tennis at Melbourne Park was unable to find the form which has seen him pass the first round in the last three straight years, going down in one hour and 58-minutes.

Just a single break of serve in each set was required for the Spaniard, who hit 32 winners en route to an impressive victory.

The Australian struggled to find his groove on his second serve, winning just 41% of those points.

On Rod Laver Arena, Australian wildcard Storm Sanders was well on her way to claiming a stunning upset win over No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, but was eventually run over by the Belarusian 7-5, 3-6, 2-6 in two hours and two-minutes.

Sanders took full advantage of Sabalenka’s serving woes as she raced away to a 7-5, 3-1 lead. On the canvas, Sabalenka managed to rediscover her groove, going on to win 11 of the next 13 games to claim a major comeback victory.

The match saw 12 breaks of serve from 28 break point opportunities, in a contest in which both players had their struggles on serve.