Cameron Norrie hits a forehand
Cameron Norrie also reached the Australian Open third round in 2021
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 16-29 January
Coverage: Commentary every day from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra ‘Tennis Breakfast’ live from Melbourne, with selected live text commentaries and match reports on the BBC Sport website & app

British men’s number one Cameron Norrie is out of the Australian Open after losing to rising star Jiri Lehecka.

Norrie, seeded 11th, had been aiming to knock off another notable career milestone by reaching the last 16 at Melbourne Park for the first time.

He led by two sets to one before Czech Lehecka fought back to win 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-4 in the third round.

The 27-year-old left-hander was far from his best and needed treatment on his left knee early in the decider.

Lehecka will play Canadian sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round on Sunday.

It was a measure of revenge for the 21-year-old after he was beaten by Norrie at the Auckland Open last week.

“I felt that I could beat him,” said Lehecka, who is ranked 71st in the world.

“The only thing I learned from that match [in Auckland] was to never give up and fight for every ball.”

Norrie’s exit means Andy Murray – who won his extraordinary second-round match at 04:05 local time earlier on Friday – and Dan Evans are the only British players remaining in either singles draw.

Norrie lacks rhythm in subdued display

Norrie has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past few seasons after his unprecedented success on the ATP Tour, which included his first career titles and a climb into the world’s top 10.

His success has been a product of hard work and self-belief, delivering consistent performances based on relentless returning and athletic energy.

A deep run at a major had eluded him until he ticked off that achievement in style with his Wimbledon semi-final showing last year.

However, he has yet to go far in Melbourne, having lost in the first round on four of his previous five visits prior to this year’s tournament.

Norrie arrived in Australia on the eve of the year’s first major after reaching the final in Auckland, the city where the London-based player grew up.

However, he was unable to transfer his best form to Melbourne Park.

He lacked rhythm against Lehecka, with a stream of errors flowing from the forehand side, and the young Czech maintained his composure to secure one of the biggest wins of his career.

Jiri Lehecka celebrates beating Cameron Norrie at the Australian Open
Lehecka reached the last 16 of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time

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