Australia’s problem for singles glory at Wimbledon has disintegrated earlier than the primary week is out — however last-man-standing Chris O’Connell was pleased with his efforts regardless of being blitzed at SW19.
The Sydneysider, who had loved one other breakthrough week in his profitable 2023 marketing campaign, went out to American high-flyer Chris Eubanks 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/2) amid a barrage of aces on a rain-hit Saturday.
O’Connell’s departure, after being outplayed in three tie-breaks, means Australia will not have a singles consultant within the second week at Wimbledon for the primary time in 5 years.
The final, considerably stunning survivor of the ten Australians who entered the primary draw, O’Connell once more produced an admirable efficiency in his tough stop-start week, discovering himself in motion for the fifth successive day.
And as soon as once more, the 29-year-old, who wanted three days to win a first-round match marred by climate stoppages, was compelled into one other tough contest that featured two rain interruptions.
The actual problem, although, lay within the monster serve of 27-year-old Eubanks, a 2.01m-tall participant from Atlanta whose stand up the rankings this season has seen him changing into more and more feted within the US, with even Hollywood famous person Jamie Foxx now backing him.
He rained down 23 aces and 50 unreturned serves to continually have O’Connell on the again foot, and although there wasn’t an ideal deal to decide on between the pair in a serve-dominated contest, it was the world quantity 43’s booming assaults on key factors that proved the distinction in opposition to the quantity 73.
“In fact, I am fairly proud. Third spherical is superior. However I am going to most likely be a bit happier tomorrow, as a result of I imply, it was a chance to make a fourth spherical, a second week, for the primary time” shrugged O’Connell, who additionally acquired to the Australian Open last-32 final yr.
“I simply felt like the entire match was on his racquet. I could not do something. Not solely was his serve implausible, he was unbelievable off the bottom and simply did not miss.
“He is taking part in some unbelievable tennis.”
Hitting 5 big backhand service return winners on essential factors allowed Eubanks to dominate every tie-break with rising authority on Courtroom 18.
Aside from briefly swapping breaks within the first set, the possibilities have been few and much between for O’Connell, who had crushed Eubanks in a Challenger occasion in Korea final yr however discovered him a totally completely different proposition on grass.
No presence within the second week for Australia — which additionally occurred on the final grand slam, the French Open in Paris — is a far cry from 2022 when 4 gamers — eventual finalist Nick Kyrgios, Jason Kubler, Alex de Minaur and Ajla Tomljanovic — all made the ultimate 16.
“It is powerful making a second week, however we have plenty of good gamers for the time being which can be beginning to knock on the door,” mentioned O’Connell, placing on a courageous face after his exit.