'Bolt from the blue': Fans lose it over Aussie's upset

Australian tennis fans have flooded social media to hail Alex Bolt after the 26-year-old became the latest local hope to spring a huge Australian Open shock.

Bolt had never beaten anyone inside the top 70 before Thursday night’s second round match against 29th seed Gilles Simon but the Aussie prevailed in a five-set classic, 2-6 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10) 6-4.

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If the young Aussie had nerves, however, he didn’t show it during a composed and at times, aggressive approach.

Bolt’s upset of Simon left fans in a frenzy. Pic: Getty

Many fans confessed to having never heard of the Aussie wildcard before the match, but Bolt endeared himself to viewers over the course of the four hour match.

By the time he’d completed the famous victory, fans were singing Bolt’s praises on social media.

Bolt’s win gave Australia its best start to the Open in 15 years, with the local hope saving four match points in the win over the former world No.6.

“This is the best thing I have ever experienced in my life,” the world No.155 said.

“It is unbelievable to have everyone behind me tonight. They really got me over the line.”

With fellow wildcard Popyrin getting past 2018 French Open finalist Dominic Thiem, who retired trailing by two sets earlier on Thursday night, Australia has five men and women in the last 32 at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2004.

“I think we are in a pretty good spot. Hopefully some of us can win another round and go deeper into the tournament,” Bolt said.

Bolt smoked 43 forehand winners against the 29 seed Simon, backing up his maiden grand slam win on Tuesday over American Jack Sock.

The 26-year-old, who took a break from tennis three years ago to work as a labourer with his brother, had never before beaten a player ranked inside the top 70.

“My parents have come over from Murray Bridge. To be able to perform like this in front of them is real special,” he said.

Big guns Ashleigh Barty and Alex de Minaur will keep the flag flying on Friday when they play Greek Maria Sakkari and Rafael Nadal respectively, while wildcard Kimberly Birrell faces second seed Angelique Kerber.

The last group of five Australians to make the third round was Mark Philippoussis, Lleyton Hewitt, Todd Reid, Nicole Pratt and Alicia Molik.

Bolt will meet either German fourth seed Alexander Zverev or Frenchman Jeremy Chardy for a place in the fourth round.

With AAP