Adelaide International: Ajla Tomljanovic and Alexei Popyrin withdraw

Local lad Alex Bolt continued to surge at his home town event claiming another big scalp and joining countryman Chris O’Connell in the Round of 16 at the Adelaide International as two big-name withdrawals thinned the Australian contingent.

Both Ajla Tomljanovic and Alexei Popyrin pulled out of the event to ready themselves for the Australian Open which begins on Sunday with Popyrin dealing with a leg injury he suffered in his his Brisbane International loss last Wednesday.

Tomljanovic, who is building up to the opening grand slam of 2024 after a long injury layoff, played three games with the Australian team at the United Cup in first Perth then Sydney and informed Adelaide officials of her withdrawal on Tuesday.

But while his two fellow Aussies turned their attention to Melbourne Park, Bolt, the left-hander from Murray Bridge ranked 283 in the world who won his way in to the main draw through qualifying, accounted for Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild winning 6-3,6-2.

Bolt, 31, who doesn’t have a place in next week’s Australian Open, hit 25 winners to just 11 from his higher-ranked opponent, taking down the world no. 75 in just over an hour.

The victory came after O’Connell upped his preparation with a straight-sets win over world No.42, Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech at The Drive in Adelaide on Tuesday.

The 6-4,6-4 win came after O’Connell lost to Popyrin in Brisbane last week and ensures another round of crucial match preparation before the world No.66 also heads to Melbourne.

O’Connell, who will faced Russian Alex Shevchenko is one of six Australian men still in the draw in Adelaide, after Kokkinakis suffered an opening round loss on Monday night, with more in action on Tuesday.

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