Alexei Popyrin celebrates after defeating Taylor Fritz in their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia. AFP
Eighth seed Taylor Fritz became the latest top name to tumble out of the Australian Open on Thursday, ousted in round two by wildcard local hope Alex Popyrin who was in tears at the end.
The American Fritz, who had a breakthrough 2022 with titles at Indian Wells, Tokyo and Eastbourne, fell in five gruelling sets at a partisan John Cain Arena.
Australia's Popyrin prevailed 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2.
The opening Grand Slam of the year has now lost three of its top 10 seeds before the third round, with Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud also crashing out early.
"This is a dream and I don't want to wake up at all," said Popyrin, who equalled his best Grand Slam result and was reduced to tears by the crowd chanting his name.
"Pre-season I put my head down and worked as hard as I possibly could... I'm going to keep working. I love this feeling and I want more of this feeling."
Fritz, who helped spearhead the US to the United Cup title leading into the Australian Open, had never before lost at Melbourne Park to a player ranked as low as number 113 Popyrin.
Taylor Fritz of the United States stayed in contention for one of the two remaining ATP Finals spots by beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 7-5, 6-2 in the first round of the Paris Masters on Monday.
Simona Halep kept alive hopes of regaining the world number one ranking Sunday, beating Polona Hercog 5-7, 7-6 (7/1), 6-2 to reach the last 16 of the WTA and ATP Miami Open.
Roger Federer is preparing himself for a barrage of Kevin Anderson big serves after the Swiss superstar sealed his place in the ATP and WTA Miami Open quarter-finals in just 61 minutes on Wednesday.
Roger Federer became the oldest man to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final in 28 years when he booked his place in the Wimbledon last-eight for the 17th time. Eight-time champion Federer breezed past Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in just 74 minutes to make sure of a spot in his 55th quarter-final
Aryna Sabalenka is into her first Grand Slam final, where on Saturday she will face Wimbledon champion Rybakina, who earlier beat Victoria Azarenka in straight sets.
Azam was the only player to breach the 2000-run mark during the calendar year across all formats, and he did it in style as he broke past that milestone in style while amassing a whopping 2598 runs at an imposing average of 54.12.
"Alhamdulilah today was my Nikah. It is a big day in my life and the start of a new chapter. Please respect my choices and those of my wife and our families. Prayers and love for all," he wrote.