Australians Ajla Tomljanovic and Alexei Popyrin have bowed out of Wimbledon, both losing their round two matches on court 12.
Things started well for both. Tomljanovic winning the first two games of her match against former world no. 1 Victoria Azarenka and Popyrin winning the opening set against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.
For Tomljanovic things quickly went against her. The Australian played a poor game three and would lose 12 straight games to limp out of Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-0 loss.
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“Felt like it was vintage Vika out there today,” Tomljanovic said.
“Didn’t think I played my best obviously; had a really bad game at 2-0 (in the first set) which could have been way different if I’d held there, more pressure on her.
“But after that she didn’t give me anything and I had to play really well today to have a shot. Feels bad at this point.”
Tomljanovic had opportunities to get back into the match. She was 40-0 in the fifth game of the second set but her serving let her down in this match, serving at just 49% to Azarenka’s 75%.
Popyrin who made the main draw as a qualifier played a great first set. He served at 80% and hit 17 winners to 10 as he took the opening set in a tie-breaker.
The young Australian had a bad loss of concentration in the second set as he lost 6-1 before bouncing back in the third, breaking his Russian opponent for the first time in the match.
Unfortunately, things did not quite go his way and Medvedev was able to get over the top of Popyrin to move to a 2-1 lead.
Popyrin was not able to trouble Medvedev’s serve in the fourth set going down 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
“He’s just a wall. He’s so solid. He’s so solid from the back. He doesn’t miss,” Popyrin said.
“I tried to do different tactics that me and my team worked on. I tried bringing him to the net. He’s not comfortable at the net, and I reckon I did that pretty well. Tried to mix up the pace. I reckon I did that well with my slices and just most of all just focus on my game; play aggressive, big serve.
“He kind of neutralised that serve today. I didn’t hit as many aces.
“Just a couple of mental dips that I’ve got to work on, but that’s it. That just comes from experience in my eyes.”
After a commendable performance, Popyrin is out in the second round, but it was a good learning experience.
“Every experience, every time I get to play a top-10 player I always feel like I’m in the match,” said a philosophical Popyrin. “I never feel like I’m being blown away, except for that match against Isner at Indian Wells (lost 6-0 6-2 in the second round).
“I always feel like I’ve got the game to compete with these guys – and beat them.”