A highly-anticipated first ATP match-up between Australians Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic has failed to eventuate with the latter bowing out of his opening round match at the Madrid Open.
Tomic had his moments against American Ryan Harrison but went down 7-5 4-6 6-2 in 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Kyrgios had done his part the day before in a straight sets first round defeat of Marcos Baghdatis, advancing to play the winner of the Tomic-Harrison match.
But Tomic crumbled in the deciding set on Tuesday to ensure there’d be no all-Australian second round fixture.
It had loomed as an intriguing clash on Tomic’s non-preferred surface of clay after Kyrgios had given his sometime Davis Cup teammate short shrift for skipping Australia’s tie against the US.
After struggling on serve early, Tomic worked his way into the first set before Harrison stole a break just as it appeared headed for a tiebreak.
A rough call on game point to Tomic inflamed Harrison at 3-3 in the second set and while the Australian handed the break straight back he won the next two games to take the match into a decider.
It was largely the 47th-ranked American from there on in, Tomic surrendering meekly from 2-2 with two service breaks.
The loss marks the 39th-ranked Australian’s seventh in first round matches this year but Tomic has at least shown some improved form in the last few weeks, including a quarter-final appearance at Istanbul.
While Tomic fell it was a case of smooth sailing for top seed Andy Murray. The world No.1 though to the third round with a regulation 6-4 6-3 win over Romanian wildcard Marius Copil.
Murray was joined in the third round by fellow seeds David Goffin and Dominic Thiem.
Belgian, Goffin recorded a 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 win over Germany’s Florian Mayer, while Austrian, Thiem won through over American Jared Donaldson 6-3 6-4.
German veteran Tommy Haas bid farewell to Madrid with a 6-4 7-6 (9-7) loss to Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.