Jason Kubler’s French Open adventure is over, strangled along with the rest of the Australian men’s singles hopes at Roland Garros.
Queensland’s last man standing, following a hair-raising ride through qualifying at Roland Garros, found Britain’s new big hope Cameron Norrie a barrier too far as he was squeezed out 6-3 6-4 6-3 in Wednesday’s second-round clash.
It meant that for the fifth time in six years, no Aussie man has been able to get beyond the last-64, leaving only Daria Saville and Ajla Tomljanovic to fly the flag for the women later on Wednesday.
Not that Kubler needed to berate himself, as the world No.160 acquitted himself admirably in just his third-ever grand slam main-draw contest against the rising Norrie, 11th in the world and twice a tournament winner already this season.
The second of Kubler’s slam wins had come in a late -night thriller against American Denis Kudla under lights on Sunday which had left him emotionally and physically drained.
Norrie, a consistent left-hander who drains opponents by making them work for every point, was always going to be a fiendishly difficult follow-up.
Though Kubler maintained his aggressive approach throughout and was competitive in the final two sets, actually leading 3-0 in the third, the Briton wore him down inexorably to triumph in just under two-and-a-half hours.
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