Thompson succumbs in US Open heartbreaker

·3-min read

Jordan Thompson is vowing to pick himself up for a doubles tilt after letting two match points slip in a gut-wrenching five-set second-round US Open loss to fancied Russian Aslan Karatsev.

Thompson appeared on his way to the last 32 alongside world No.1 Ash Barty and fellow Australians Ajla Tomljanovic and Alexei Popyrin before succumbing 3-6 3-6 7-5 7-6 (11-9) 6-1 after four hours and 39 minutes of mostly baseline toil.

Compounding the disappointment, Thompson will tumble outside the world's top 70 after failing to defend the rankings points accrued from his career-best run to the fourth round last year in New York.

Still, it was another valiant effort from the 27-year-old following his epic five-set triumph over Gianluca Mager in round one.

Thompson ran for a staggering 9032 metres but said fitness wasn't a factor in his demise.

"My body's fine," he said.

"I was doing most the of the running and, when you think about it, you're not really jogging through any points so it's pretty quick movements for 9000 metres.

"I guess that's good for me that, my fitness is at a high level, but it doesn't matter if you can't win.

"Majorly disappointing."

Karatsev has been among the form players of the tour in 2021, reaching the Australian Open semi-finals from qualifying on his grand-slam main-draw debut and surging from outside the world's top 100 to 25th in the rankings.

He won his maiden ATP title in Dubai in March and knocked over Novak Djokovic in Belgrade the following month.

But Thompson had the 21st seed's measure for much of Friday's battle, only to relinquish a two-set advantage and fail to convert either of his match points in the fourth-set tiebreaker - both on Karatsev's serve - to bow out.

"Two match points; I could have been off the court and into the third round and saved myself from playing another set of tennis," he lamented.

"It's what we play tennis for. We're here at the grand slams and match points for another third round of a slam that's gone begging.

"But I can't linger on that forever because it's gone. I'll probably have doubles tomorrow so hopefully I get pumped and adrenaline will get me through it."

Thompson is partnering fellow Sydneysider James Duckworth, who blew five match points of his own in a similarly tough five-set first-round loss to Pedro Martinez.

Barty earlier booked her place in the women's third round with a 6-1 7-5 win over Danish teenager Clara Tauson.

The top seed will play American Shelby Rogers next on Sunday for a place in the last 16.

Tomljanovic outclassed seeded Croat Petra Martic 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 to reach the third round at successive slams for the first time in her nine-year career.

The Wimbledon quarter-finalist's reward is a meeting with world No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova.

Popyrin advanced to the third round on Thursday and faces Brit Dan Evans for a spot in the second week of a major for the first time.

HOW THE AUSSIES FARED ON DAY FOUR OF THE US OPEN (PREFIX DENOTES SEEDING):

Women's singles, second round

1-Ash Barty bt Clara Tauson (DEN) 6-1 7-5

Ajla Tomljanovic bt 30-Petra Martic (CRO) 7-6 (8-6) 6-4

Men's singles, second round

Jordan Thompson lost to 21-Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 3-6 3-6 7-5 7-6 (11-9) 6-1

AUSSIES IN ACTION ON SATURDAY (AEST):

Men's singles, third round

Alexei Popyrin V 24-Dan Evans (GBR) - not before 0230

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting