Even an hour and a half after his surprise first round at the Australian Open, Jan Lennard Struff was still struggling with clarity.
“I’m so frustrated,” said the 30-year-old Warsteiner. Germany’s second seed started their first Grand Slam tennis season with extremely high expectations. After a solid performance in the ATP Cup, Struve also wanted to go further in the Australian Open. But then he was suddenly thwarted by Australian fitch owner Christopher O’Connell. 6: 7 (2: 7), 6: 7 (5: 7), 1: 6 was said a little over two hours later from Struff’s point of view.
“I was hoping to benefit from the ATP Cup,” said Struve. But at Stadium Seven in Melbourne Park, he was unable to capitalize on his performance in the team competition. In the ATP Cup, he scored important points for Germany against Canadian Milos Raonic and Serbian Dusan Lyovic, and was convinced of losing three tight sets to strong Russian Andrei Rublev. Plus, you can count on the Sauerlander in doubles, as is often the case.
“It was just a disaster today.”
But against O’Connell, it all disappeared all of a sudden. “It was just a disaster today,” Struve admitted in bewilderment. From the start, he could not take the risk. And when, on the first set tiebreak, his previously good serve left him in the swing, the group abruptly disappeared.
Struve tried to stay positive and got a steady ball in the second round. But when he didn’t change it and lost it again shortly after the tiebreaker, frustration and frantic activity gripped the actual candidates.
“I couldn’t believe it because I played so well in the ATP Cup,” said Struff, a little desperate. The 37th man in the world said, “I searched and searched today, but I found no way.” “I invested a lot in preparing. That’s why it hurts so much today.”
Only two German men left
Since Yannick Hanfmann also lost out soon afterwards, only Alexander Zverev and Dominic Kupfer were among the men from a German perspective. Zverev will meet American Maxim Chrissy on Wednesday, and Kupfer will face title favorite Dominic Thiem of Austria. Hanfman had no chance against powerful Russian Rublev in 3: 6, 3: 6, 4: 6. Karlsruhe, 29, had to concede defeat to the ATP Cup champion after 1:42 hours.
Surprisingly, Victoria Azarenka is no longer in the tournament. Twice-winning Belarusians from Melbourne, who, like failed Angelique Kerber on Monday, had to spend two weeks in strict quarantine before the tournament, to Jessica Bigula of USA 5: 7, 4: 6. On the other hand, the defending champion advanced. Sophia Kenin from the USA and last year’s runner-up, Garbin Muguruza from Spain, after two group wins.