Popyrin makes early exit in Antwerp

AAPAAP
Alexei Popyrin has lost in the first round of the ATP Tour event in Antwerp.
Camera IconAlexei Popyrin has lost in the first round of the ATP Tour event in Antwerp. Credit: AP

Alexei Popyrin's campaign at the ATP Tour's European Open in Antwerp has come to an early end with a first-round defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Botic van de Zandschulp.

Popyrin did well to force the match to a deciding set but the Australian's game fell apart when it mattered most as Dutchman van de Zandschulp reeled off the final six games to record a 6-4 3-6 6-0 victory.

The 22-year-old Popyrin saved eight break points in the second set to draw the match level and stay in the hunt against van de Zandschulp.

That was as good as it got for Popyrin as van de Zandschulp progressed to a meeting with fifth-seeded Reilly Opelka or American qualifier Jenson Brooksby.

Arthur Rinderknech's career-best season continued as he moved past Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-4 6-4.

The Frenchman had not earned one tour-level victory before this year but has now triumphed 15 times at this level in 2021.

Rinderknech will play eighth-seeded Dusan Lajovic in the second round after the Serbian defeated French wildcard Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-3) 6-1.

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