Duckworth crashes out in Sydney

Duckworth crashes out in Sydney

Local wildcard James Duckworth has been knocked out of the Sydney International, losing his second-round match in straight sets to French sixth seed Jeremy Chardy.

Duckworth went down 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 at Olympic Park on Wednesday to leave Bernard Tomic and Jordan Thompson as the only Australians left in the men’s singles.

With a quarter-final berth on the line, the 23-year-old Duckworth came close to breaking Chardy’s serve early in the second set but grew increasingly frustrated as the set wore on in hot conditions.

Chardy will take on Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in the last eight.

Muller progressed courtesy of Dominic Thiem’s retirement, the second-seeded Austrian pulling out seemingly injured while trailing 7-6 (7-2) 2-2.

Earlier, fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov continued his fine 2016 form, securing a quarter-final place with a second-round victory over Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas.

The Bulgarian, who put up a strong challenge against Roger Federer during his Brisbane International quarter-final last week, prevailed 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 at Olympic Park.

Dimitrov’s win on Ken Rosewall Arena is his first at the tournament, having been bundled out in the first round of his only other main-draw appearance in 2013, in a promising sign for the 24-year-old world No.28 ahead of next week’s Australian Open.

He will next face eighth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov for a semi-final spot after the Ukraine ousted American qualifier Alexander Sarkissian 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

Frenchman Nicolas Mahut is also safely through to the quarter-finals after upsetting Italian fifth seed Andreas Seppi 6-3 1-6 6-3.

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