Alex de Minaur has crashed back to earth at the Paris Masters, suffering a straight-sets loss to Frances Tiafoe just 24 hours after the biggest win of his career against Daniil Medvedev.
De Minaur had the tennis world in awe on Wednesday when he stunned Medvedev to earn his first-ever win over a top-five opponent in 19 attempts.
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However he couldn't back it up on Thursday, crashing out of the ATP 1000 event in a 3-6 6-7 (5) loss to Tiafoe.
After the elation of the biggest win of his career, deflation didn't take long to follow for the Aussie battler. The 23-year-old quickly had that sinking feeling again after his loss in the last-16 loss to American Tiafoe.
Demonstrating his trademark grit to battle back into the contest, de Minaur had his opportunity to level the match at a set-all when he served for the second stanza at 5-3 up against the US Open semi-finalist.
But the American broke back, took the match into a hard-fought tie-break and struck decisively in the breaker, firing a backhand service return winner off the Australian's second delivery on his second match point.
It felt like another anti-climactic moment for de Minaur, who played so well in that second set only to be denied the chance of surpassing Nick Kyrgios as Australia's No.1 male player when the new rankings are released next week.
Ultimately the contrast in firepower was evident as the in-form Tiafoe blasted down his 34th winner to go with his 14 aces - compared to the Australian's 18 winners - and wrapped up victory in an hour and 40 minutes.
Still, de Minaur's form over the week should encourage Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt that his leading player is in the shape to challenge anybody with the finals set for Malaga later this month.
Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic advance
Later in Bercy, World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz, who'll also be Malaga-bound, blasted aside Grigor Dimitrov 6-1 6-3 to book his spot in the last eight.
But French Open finalist Casper Ruud was knocked out by 20-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who fired 37 winners in his 4-6 6-4 6-4 win and will next have Novak Djokovic in his sights.
"He was playing really well and I had to play my best tennis to beat him," said Musetti. "I am really happy that all the hard work I am doing keeps improving me. I am really proud of this win."
Djokovic, a six-time champion in Paris, advanced with a commanding 6-4 6-1 win over Karen Khachanov, cracking 18 winners along the way.
"Khachanov is someone I know really well," said Djokovic. "We train a lot, and we played almost 10 times against each other on different surfaces. He beat me four years ago in the final, so I know he likes this surface, he likes these conditions."
Denmark's ever-improving teenager Holger Rune beat seventh seed Andrey Rublev 6-4 7-5.
And Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime, who like Rublev had booked his place in the ATP Finals on Wednesday, continued his remarkable late-season form, moving closer to a fifth title of the year with a 6-1 6-3 hammering of departing French veteran Gilles Simon.
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