Amazing Australian Open win for Brooksby

Jenson Brooksby has joined a growing list of unfancied American giantkillers at the Australian Open, staging an an improbable recovery to claim the biggest win of his career against world No.3 Casper Ruud.

Brooksby looked a broken man - physically and mentally - after blowing three match points in the ninth game of the third set of their second-round encounter on Thursday.

The 22-year-old slumped to his chair during the changeover, muttering "How? How? How?" to himself and anyone else who cared to listen.

When Ruud claimed the resulting tiebreak, it seemed near certain he would go on to seal victory.

But Brooksby somehow found the wherewithal to lift again, breaking the Norwegian's serve twice early in the fourth set and going on to win 6-3 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 on his fifth match point.

"I was getting a little more frustrated out there that I didn't close it out and my mentality was changing a little bit," said Brooksby.

"Those are the situations you have to handle sometimes in matches (and) the biggest question is 'How do you respond?'

"I just told myself to reset, keep doing what I was doing in the start of the fourth, and just not let the end of the third change how I play going forward.

"... the first thing that popped into my mind was that I was just proud of my mental resolve to stay focused out there in a tough situation."

Brooksby is playing his maiden Australian Open, having missed the 2022 tournament due to a positive COVID-19 test.

His opponent in the third round will be fellow unseeded US player Tommy Paul, who outlasted Spanish world No.32 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 2-6 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-4.

"That's going to be another battle for sure and hopefully we get a great court," Brooksby said.

Ruud's departure means the top two men's seeds have bowed out in the space of 24 hours after world No.2 and defending champion Rafael Nadal lost to another unseeded American, Mackenzie McDonald, on Wednesday.

Fifth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev also booked his spot in the third round on Thursday with a convincing victory over Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori.

Rublev overcame a poor third-set tiebreak to win 6-2 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.

It's the fifth time the 25-year-old Rublev has advanced to at least the third round at Melbourne Park, where his best result yet was a run to the quarter-finals in 2021.

His opponent in the round of 32 on Saturday will be Britain's Daniel Evans after the No.25 seed made short work of Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, winning 6-4 6-4 6-1.

Danish ninth seed Holger Rune moved on with a 7-5 6-4 6-4 win over US southpaw Maxime Cressy as Ben Shelton, JJ Wolf and qualifying lucky loser Michael Mmoh joined the list of surprise US men's winners on day four.

Wolf backed up his opening success over Australian Jordan Thompson by ousting Argentine No.23 seed Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-4 6-4 and set up an unlikely third-round showdown with Mmoh, who upset 12th seed Alexander Zverev 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 6-3 6-2.

Shelton beat Chilean qualifier Nicolas Jarry 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 and next faces Alexei Popyrin after the Australian wildcard crashed the US party with a rollicking 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 win over eighth seed Taylor Fritz.

Even with an injured hamstring, Novak Djokovic firmed in favouritism to claim a record-extending 10th Open title with a 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-0 victory over French qualifier Enzo Couacaud in the late night match on Rod Laver Arena.