This is such incredible Grand Slam Tennis by Australian Alexei Popyrin, as he just eliminated 8th seed Taylor Fritz (USA) following a long afternoon out (about four hours) with the five-set win at John Cain Arena.
Popyrin had a great opening two sets even though it wasn’t an easy one for sure via back-to-back tiebreaks, particularly when he‘s up against one of the Top 10 seeds of this tournament in Fritz. Then Fritz began to send a huge threat from two sets down where not only he won back the third stage, but denied Popyrin the first match point opportunity via the tiebreaker that led into a fifth & final set decider.
In the end though, Popyrin got through the finish line comfortably & he is now on his way onto Round 3 this Saturday v another American in Benjamin Shelton. The final score was a huge contest- 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (2-7), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) & 2-6.
It’s been a long and difficult afternoon to reflect from Fritz, having just been out of the race after only the second round by a 113th ranked player in Popyrin. They got themselves up and running with a couple of break points. Although, Fritz showed some fight when he denied Popyrin both a straight sets & 1st match point attempt going into the 5th set. But he just couldn’t find a way to overtake his competitor & sprint all the way past the finish line.
And what a day it has been from Popyrin with an unreal win v Fritz. He had to bide time every time when he goes up against his R2 competitor, having closed off a couple of close battles in the first half of the afternoon. Now he began to be inconsistent at times where he was at one point about to be eliminated after missing out these two big opportunities, but glad he restarted the final set really well with an easy end to this match. Speaking of opportunities, this is Popyrin’s chance now to make a name for himself & go all the way on home soil here at Melbourne Park.