Australian Open No. 2 seed Kasper Rude crashed out of the Grand Slam of American Jenson Brooksby on Thursday, losing 6-3 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 in the second round.
Rudd, who reached the finals of the French Open and US Open in 2022, saved three match points and came from 2-5 down in the third set to take the match to the fourth set, but the 22-year-old Brooks’ was not to be denied.
The American’s win meant the top two seeds were knocked out of the men’s draw after Rafael Nadal lost to Mackenzie McDonald on Wednesday.
The exit of two top seeds before the third round is the first Grand Slam men’s singles event since the 2002 Australian Open when No. 1 seed Lleyton Hewitt and No. 2 seed Gustavo Kuerten lost in the first round. According to the International Tennis Federation.
“Casper is a fighter, I knew it would be a great fight,” Brooksby told reporters afterward. “I was pretty confident with my level and wanted to have fun competing there and see what could happen.
“I was really proud of my mental resolve out there after the third set battle didn’t go my way,” Brooksby added. “I thought I was playing really strong and I wanted every game [to] Don’t lose my focus there.”
Brooksby looked confident from the opening game as the world number 39 broke Rudd midway through the first set after a long 30-shot rally that allowed the American to take an early lead.
The big-hitter put American Rude on the back foot, though, as he won the second set with a slice of luck as his backhand hit and trickled into the net.
Rudd fought back to win the third set, although his frustration continued and at one point he was heard shouting “Why?” to myself
Rudd lost the fourth set when he came back long, beating Brooksby past Stefanos Tsitsipas to give him his second win over a top five seed.
The 22-year-old from California was dominant in a long rally against Rudd, winning 50 of 68 points that were stretched over nine shots. He managed to save eight of 12 break points against the Norwegians.
Afterwards, Roode was full of praise for Brooksby, while also calling the match “disappointing and boring at the same time”.
“It’s a tough matchup for me, and I know it’s probably going to be for years. I will try to learn from it. I think he played great today,” Ruud told reporters.
“I mean, I didn’t make many mistakes at all. I didn’t feel like I played particularly bad or not at the level I wanted to play, but he just won a lot of long rallies and answered all the questions I asked him,” Rudd added.
Brooksby will play fellow American Tommy Paul in the next round.
“It’s definitely going to be another battle,” Brooksby said. “A lot of Americans are doing really well right now and we’re all pushing each other. I’m just waiting for the next one.”