Dominic Thiem was knocked out in the second round of the Australian Open while top women’s seed Simona Halep was made to work hard for the second match in a row before she made it through to round three.
Thiem, who had made the round of 16 last two Australian Open editions in a row, was down two sets to love and 2-0 in the third set when he retired from his encounter against Australia’s Alexei Popyrin.
Serving to stay in the set at 5-6, Thiem was broken by his Aussie opponent and lost the set and his racquet as he smashed it on the court out of frustration. However, there was more frustration in store for the Austrian as he lost the second set as well, before limping out in the third set because of an injury.
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Thiem has been caught a few times in the past taking his frustration out on his racquet. Popyrin will now take on the winner of the Lucas Pouille and Maximilian Marter in the third round.
Romanian world number one Halep narrowly escaped going down the same route despite going a break down in the final set against Sofia Lenin. She then rattled off four games in a row to complete an excellent turnaround and enter the third round.
Halep, who had needed three sets against Kaia Kanepi in the first round as well, will now take on Venus Williams in her third round match. Venus was stretched to three sets by Alize Cornet but the American prevailed 6-0 in the final set.
In another men’s singles match, 16th seeded Milos Raonic needed four tie-breakers to oust Stan Wawrinka but not before the Swiss player had given an account of a potentially better year for him after his recent fitness struggles.