British men’s number one Cameron Norrie is out of the Australian Open after losing to rising star Jiri Lehecka.
Norrie, seeded 11th, was aiming to achieve another notable milestone in his career by reaching the last 16 at Melbourne Park for the first time.
He led by two sets to one before Czech Lehecka, 21, fought back to win 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-4 in the third round.
The 27-year-old southpaw was far from his best and needed left knee treatment early in the decider.
Lehecka will face Canada’s sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round on Sunday.
It was a revenge measure for the 21-year-old after he was beaten by Norrie at the Auckland Open last week.
“I felt like I could beat him,” said Lehecka, who is ranked 71st in the world.
“The only thing I learned from this game [in Auckland] was to never give up and fight for every bullet.”
Norrie’s exit means Andy Murray – who won his extraordinary second-round match at 4.05am local time earlier on Friday – and Dan Evans are the only remaining British players in either singles draw.