Melbourne | Rune crashes out to wildcard

Holger Rune becomes the first of the title contenders to fall in the early stages of this year’s Australian Open, vanquished by a 21-year-old French wildcard entry Arthur Cazaux, the world 122, who claimed the biggest win of his career.

The Frenchman took out the eighth seeded, 20-year-old Dane, 7-6(4) 6-4 4-6 6-3 after 3 hours and 22 minutes to set up a third- round meeting with Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, who beat another Frenchman, Arthur Fils 3-6 6-1 7-5 6-4.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break where Cazaux streaked into a 3-0 lead with two mini-breaks.

Rune pulled one mini-break back for 1-3 only for Cazaux to capture his third mini-break and open up a 5-2 lead and subsequently comfortably sealing the tie-break on his second set point.

Having gained the initiative, the Frenchman made the most of the momentum, and broke early in the second and held off the Dane, saving break points in the third game, but couldn’t prevent Cazaux from going two set to love up.

But Rune refocused his game in the third and eventually broke his opponent in the 10th game to win the set and bring himself back into the match.

Cazaux opened the fourth set with an early break thanks to a forehand winner and then saved a break point at 4-3 before edging further ahead in the ninth game with a backhand cross-court winner to seal the set and match for his 100th win on the tour.

“It was a crazy match. My voice is a bit tired now, but it was a big fight. Holger is a wonderful player. I have known him for a long time. I knew it was going to be a big fight and I was ready. I am so ready and that was crazy. Tennis is a show. I gave all I have in me. I hope you enjoyed the show. We have the crowd in France, but the Aussie crowd is crazy”, said Cazaux, who struck 51 winners to 30 unforced errors.

A stunned Holger Rune leaves the court

(Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)



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