Jordan Thompson was hoping to spend the rest of the week competing in the Sydney Tennis Classic, but the Australian world No.73 may well spend him buying tennis racquets instead, after erasing his frustration with Reilly Opelka on Wednesday.
The 211cm-tall Opelka dominated Thompson in their second-round match, taking control early on and winning 6-3, 6-2.
Just minutes into the match, Thompson was visibly pissed off by the America’s world No.25’s powerful serve – well in excess of 200 km / h – and his ability to move quickly across the pitch despite his imposing size.
Watch Tennis Live with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. Live coverage of ATP + WTA tournaments, including every final match. New to Kayo? Start your free trial>
Shocking admission by Djokovic on bomb allegations in Covid-19 saga
Novak under new scrutiny after claims over validity of ‘weird’ Covid results
Thompson dominated his first-round match against compatriot Opelka Marcos Giron but struggled to find his rhythm as the opening set advanced on Wednesday.
A temperamental comeback gave Opelka the break at the start of the second set, and the Australian couldn’t hide his frustration.
He threw down his racket but came back for it, leaving it messy on the pitch after crushing it twice more.
Snowshoe debris lay scattered around the edges of the court.
“You can understand the frustration. His opponent was hardly wrong, ”retired doubles specialist Robbie Koenig said in a commentary for Stan Sport.
“It’s such a smart Opelka tennis.”
“I am surprised that this is not a violation of the code. This thing (the racket) has seen better days, ”commentator Colin Fleming said.
Commentators said they understand Thompson’s pain.
“I’m not advocating smashing rackets in any way, but sometimes when you’re as frustrated as these guys are in the heat of the moment, you just need to get that release,” Koenig said.
“Get it out of your system or it persists.”
“I hope taking his frustrations out on the racquet would have done that for Jordan.”
After his episode with the racket, Thompson managed to take two games at Opelka, but the American was in the mood and couldn’t be stopped despite Thompson’s best efforts.
Opelka will meet fellow American Brandon Nakashima in the quarter-finals.
“I played well,” Opelka said after beating Thompson.
“I have worked a lot on my ground game and I think a lot of it has shown here today. “
AJLA NOT PHASE BY NIGGLE INJURIES
Meanwhile, Australian star Ajla Tomljanovic has dismissed concerns over two heavily taped thighs a week at the Australian Open after a first round victory at the Sydney Classic.
Playing in her 150th main draw, the 28-year-old said she was having “tough times” with her adductors and hips, but that didn’t bother her in the 6-2, 6-3 win over Slovak Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
After a career record in 2021, Tomljanovic is aiming for a move into the world top 30 as her start-of-season goal in 2022, but places no immediate expectations on herself for the season opener grand slam next week.
“As a team, we don’t really set goals where, you know, okay, we have to hit that number or that round in a slam. But the goal is always to improve. Personally, I set my own goals, ”she said after her victory, which required a 3-1 comeback in the second set.
“It would be getting into the top 30, mainly because I believe I can do it. But I’m going to have to do something that I’ve never done, which is to play better regularly, to win more games in the biggest stages each week ”,
“And it will definitely be a task for me just because it’s never been done before, but it’s definitely not something that I think is too far out of reach.”
Tomljanovic said the extreme duct tape on both of her thighs was more of a precaution than an indication of an issue that might bother her when she arrives at Melbourne Park.
“I sometimes have a hard time with my adductors and hips, and just believing that it doesn’t come easily to me, so I felt like duct tape was the right way to go,” he said. she declared.
“It was so wet there, so I talked to the physiotherapists before the game that, you know, if I could get a new tape without going through the medical exam, which we did, and it was a little too tight in the second. But, you know, the band gets a little loose.
“When I was done I just really wanted to get rid of it, yeah, let my legs breathe a bit.”
Ranked 45th in the world, Tomljanovic is the second highest ranked Australian behind world No.1 Ash Barty.
But it’s the wins, especially in big tournaments, not the ranking points that drives her.
“Being better than my career high isn’t really going to make me say, ‘Oh, my God, yeah’. It won’t be like that because, in a way, I felt like I deserved it with the year I had last year, ”she said.
“So not hitting it doesn’t get me down or anything. But probably getting into that top 30 would be something where I would be, like, OK, that’s what made the difference to me.
Tomljanovic will face Spain’s Paula Badosa in the second round in Sydney.
But as Tomljanovic progressed, fellow Aussie Chris O’Connell was after a narrow loss, losing a third set tie-break to Argentina’s Sebastian Baez.