World reacts to cruel Aussie heartbreak
Aussie Jordan Thompson was eliminated from the Australian Open in the cruellest of circumstances after falling to Italian Fabio Fognini after midnight on Thursday morning.
Thompson saved four match points in the fifth set to send the epic, rollercoaster battle into a fifth set tiebreak - but couldn't get the job done in the super tiebreak.
Fognini played with a hand injury for the entire match after he twice smashed his racquet into the ground and had it rebound straight back at him in a painful fashion - having already injured his right hand in his first round match in another self-inflicted injury from racquet abuse.
The No. 12 seed also had running arguments with chair umpire Carlos Ramos and yelled at spectators in the crowd repeatedly before he emerged with a memorable 7-6 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6 (10-4) victory.
The clash, which lasted four hours and five minutes, took both players to a dark place with Thompson also producing a staggering racquet smash as he fell behind early.
All of those emotional breakdowns were overshadowed by the gripping drama of their fifth set, which captivated the tennis world.
THOMMO CMON— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) January 22, 2020
Thompson has a doubles R1 to play in about... 12 hours (with Hewitt).— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 22, 2020
Tennis is a brutal sport.
Jordan Thompson one of my favourite Aussies to watch play. Serious fight. #AusOpen— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) January 22, 2020
Fognini was in complete control of the match after moving ahead two sets to love, but Thompson wasn't giving up.
He dug deep and stunned his more fancied opponent to win the next two sets and force the contest into a deciding fifth set.
But Fognini found a way to regain his composure in the final set, despite coming off another heated, five-set first round match with Reilly Opelka at Melbourne Park.
Fognini's repeated racquet throwing continued throughout the match and his injured right hand got progressively worse as he continued to inflict pain on himself with his violent outbursts.
Fognini just punched his racquet in an almost identical manner to the punch that completely messed up his taped up fist. A madman.— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) January 22, 2020
Fognini on Tuesday explained that he injured his hand throwing his racquet and showed off a nasty red mark across his knuckles.
Asked whether it was a burn, Fognini delivered a slightly embarrassing, albeit for him not surprising, answer.
"Yes, yesterday. It's OK. I hit the racquet," he said. "Yes (it hurt) a little bit. Especially this finger."