Is this our next Lleyton Hewitt? Unseeded Aussie underdog Alexei Popyrin, 21, shows incredible spirit to fight off FOUR match points and secure an epic five-set win against world-class Belgian David Goffin
Aussie tennis young gun Alexei Popyrin has fought back from the jaws of defeat to cause a huge upset at the Australian Open.
Sydneysider Popyrin, 21, defeated world number 13 ranked Belgian David Goffin in a five set marathon after fighting off four match points earlier in the match.
It’s the second year the young gun ranked 114 in the world has progressed through to the second round after he upset Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last year at Melbourne Park.
The win against Goffin is Popyrin’s first in five sets.
Alexei Popyrin celebrates after causing a huge boilover at the Australian Open on Tuesday
The victory comes after a lengthy six-week preseason hitting with some of the world’s best in Dubai, including Karen Khachanov, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Gael Monfils and Denis Shapovalov before qualifying as a wild card for the Australian Open.
‘It’s the best preseason I’ve had to any year; I feel I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been and can really produce a higher intensity for a longer period and really feeling confident in my game,’ Popyrin recently told AAP.
‘It’s much tougher against the big dogs; they have different tricks and ways to compete and the quality of the ball, it’s much heavier.’
There about no complaints from Popyrin about his recent 14 day stint in hotel quarantine following his return from Dubai.
‘There are people dying (from COVID-19) all over the world and we’re here complaining about a two-week quarantine when we get the opportunity to go out and play the game we love for money,’ he told AAP.
‘What people in Melbourne and Australia had to go through, being locked down for three months, not being able to leave your house, they don’t want that again.
‘The government has taken a really big risk at letting us in and they’re doing everything they can to prevent the virus getting out.’
More to come.