Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin surprised second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime within the first spherical of the season-opening Adelaide Worldwide on Monday as Novak Djokovic was given a hero’s welcome in a uncommon doubles look.
On a day of upsets, world quantity 11 Holger Rune additionally crashed out, as did girls’s third seed Daria Kasatkina.
Canada’s Auger-Aliassime was in high kind in direction of the tip of 2022, profitable three tournaments in October and November earlier than main Canada to Davis Cup glory once they beat Australia within the last.
He rose to quantity six on the earth and stated earlier than the event he wished to journey the wave of momentum into the 2023 season.
However he got here unstuck towards Popyrin, who dropped out of the highest 100 final yr, slumping 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).
The 23-year-old Australian attacked at each alternative, hitting 32 winners, together with 12 aces.
Popyrin broke Auger-Aliassime as soon as within the first set and though he went down an early break within the second, he was capable of claw again then clinch the tiebreak on his first match level.
“I had a extremely, actually robust season final yr,” Popyrin stated.
“So to return out in my first most important draw match of the yr and beat a participant of his high quality, it simply exhibits that the work I did within the low season is paying off.”
Popyrin now performs American Marcos Giron who beat French veteran Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (6/8), 7-5 on Sunday.
Japan’s Yoshihito Nishikori downed fifth seed Rune — the ATP Newcomer of the Yr in 2022 after claiming three titles — in three units.
Rune, 19, gained the primary set comfortably however his serve went off the boil and Nishikori got here again to win the subsequent two and take the match 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
In different singles motion, Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic beat Australian Christopher O’Connell 6-4, 6-4 and Frenchman Quentin Halys eased previous wildcard Jordan Thompson 6-3, 6-4.
Earlier, followers gave Djokovic a raucous welcome throughout his first match in Australia in nearly two years.
Enjoying with Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, they misplaced to doubles specialists Tomislav Brkic and Gonzalo Escobar 4-6, 6-3, 10/5 however loved overwhelming crowd assist.
The Serbian famous person, who can be taking part in singles in Adelaide, was deported from the nation earlier than the 2022 Australian Open for not being vaccinated towards Covid-19 and was subsequently barred from re-entering for 3 years.
However the ban was lifted in November and he might be making an attempt to win his tenth Australian Open title later this month.
There was additionally a significant upset within the girls’s draw when 18-year-old Czech qualifier Linda Noskova beat Kasatkina 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3.
Fourth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova of Russia crushed American Amanda Anisimova 6-3, 6-0, whereas Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu beat one other American, Shelby Rogers, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1.