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David Goffin exits Australian Open after losing to Julien Benneteau

David Goffin, seeded seventh at the Australian Open, dominated the opening set but the match changed direction after Julien Benneteau won the second-set tie-break. In another match, Dominic Thiem beat Denis Kudla in five sets.

tennis Updated: Jan 18, 2018 13:59 IST
Reuters, Melbourne
Australian Open,Julien Benneteau,Dominic Thiem
Julien Benneteau makes a backhand return to David Goffin during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne on Thursday. (AP)

Dark horse David Goffin’s Australian Open hopes went up in smoke as he fell to a 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-1, 7-6(4) to French veteran Julien Benneteau in round two on Thursday.

The Belgian seventh seed dominated the opening set in ferocious conditions but the match changed direction after 36-year-old Benneteau won the second set on a tiebreak.

Goffin was listless in the third set as Benneteau moved ahead and fell a break down in the fourth, saving a match point on his own serve at 3-5.

World number 59 Benneteau had an attack of the nerves as he tried to close out the match, throwing in a couple of double-faults to allow Goffin to level at 5-5.

But he got the job done in the tiebreak to reach the third round of a grand slam for the first time since 2013.

Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem has survived his first career five-set match at the Australian Open, rallying from two sets down to defeat 190th-ranked American qualifier Denis Kudla 6-7 (6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in the second round.

The fifth-seeded Austrian player improved his five-set record at Grand Slams to 3-3 with the win. He lost both five-setters he played last year at the majors to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon and to Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open.

Thiem counted 21 aces among his 57 winners in the match. He was broken three times in the opening set and once in the second set, then didn’t face another break point for the rest of the match.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 13:59 IST