Jordan Thompson’s frustration boiled over when the Australian called out the chair umpire and suffered another first-round defeat and fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis was let down by his “shambles” of a body as he also lost at the Australian Open.
Thompson, 23, was beaten 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 by Argentinian Nicolas Kicker and was so frustrated by a decision in the final set that he exchanged words with Russian chair umpire Anastasia Kosheleva.
Leading 2-0 in the final set, Thompson was livid when Kosheleva opted to replay a point when he was on the cusp of another break of serve. Hawk-Eye showed the ball caught most of the line and, while Kicker had netted the ball, Kosheleva ordered the point be replayed.
“You guys never do your jobs, never. Tell me he was going to make the ball, tell me that. I’m going to get reviewed for turning up late. You should get reviewed for that,” Thompson bellowed at the change of ends.
The Sydneysider was still frustrated by the incident more than an hour after the game.
“I thought it was a turning point. He was up game point, certainly didn’t help,” he said.
“The way I saw it was that even he gave up on that ball. He had no intention of making it – he thought it was going out too, I reckon. I am pretty sure the call was late and he didn’t even make the ball and we had to replay the point. Of course, it is frustrating.”
Thompson struggled as the set unfolded, and was unable to convert six break points in the eighth game. The third-ranked local hope lamented that he “didn’t get to take my chances”.
Despite showing tremendous fight to rebound after losing the opening two sets, he would have his third first-round exit of the summer, having also been tipped out of the Brisbane International and Sydney International.
“It was well below par the way I played in the first two sets. It was pretty disappointing and extremely frustrating,” Thompson said.
“I always try to the end. I started to get back into the match. I can be proud of my efforts but it just wasn’t good enough.”
Kokkinakis did well to battle his cramping and sore body, which he described as a “shambles”, but it wasn’t enough to forge a berth in the second round.
Russian Daniil Medvedev is known for his temper tantrums on court but retained his cool during a hot evening to dispose of the Australian 6-2, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4.
The 84th-ranked Medvedev landed his maiden ATP title by claiming the Sydney International crown last week. His greater fitness would prove crucial.
He dominated the first set, helped by his opponent too often finding the net or blasting too long.
Kokkinakis regrouped in the second set and held his nerve to force a tie-break. He took a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, which tightened to 5-4 when he dropped both serves. However, he continued to fight and would even the match at one set apiece before his body began to wane.
There would be cramp in a calf in the third set, which raised questions as to whether he would have to retire. He also required treatment on his right shoulder at a change of ends when behind 1-2 on serve. He took an injury time out and had the shoulder massaged, revealing to the chair umpire that his whole body was a “shambles”.
He also appeared to cramp in the left arm when serving in the fourth game of the set but he refused to concede. This set would also go to a tie-break, with Medvedev prevailing on his fourth set point in a 75-minute epic.
The South Australian dropped serve early in the fourth set and his frustration rose when he could not return fire, receiving a code violation when he squandered a pair of break-back points and smashed his racquet.
In the pivotal 10th game, Kokkinakis claimed the opening point but Medvedev would secure the win with an ace.
While Kokkinakis would have been disappointed with the result, his will to win could not be questioned. He spent the first half of last year sidelined with a shoulder injury, meaning he still has much work to do to regain match fitness.
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