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Jason Kubler loss ends Aussie hopes in French Open men’s singles draw

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Jason Kubler’s French Open adventure is over, strangled along with the rest of the Australian men’s singles hopes at Roland Garros.

Queensland’s last man standing, following a hair-raising ride through qualifying at Roland Garros, found Britain’s new big hope Cameron Norrie a barrier too far as he was squeezed out 6-3 6-4 6-3 in Wednesday’s second-round clash.

It meant that for the fifth time in six years, no Aussie man has been able to get beyond the last-64, leaving only Daria Saville and Ajla Tomljanovic to fly the flag for the women later on Wednesday.

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Not that Kubler needed to berate himself, as the world No.160 acquitted himself admirably in just his third-ever grand slam main-draw contest against the rising Norrie, 11th in the world and twice a tournament winner already this season.

The second of Kubler’s slam wins had come in a late -night thriller against American Denis Kudla under lights on Sunday which had left him emotionally and physically drained.

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Norrie, a consistent left-hander who drains opponents by making them work for every point, was always going to be a fiendishly difficult follow-up.

Though Kubler maintained his aggressive approach throughout and was competitive in the final two sets, actually leading 3-0 in the third, the Briton wore him down inexorably to triumph in just under two-and-a-half hours.

-AAP

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