Alex Bolt bows out of 2021 Australian Open after round two

The Murray Bridge tennis pro lost to Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets on Wednesday night.

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Murray Bridge’s Alex Bolt has gone down swinging on one of the biggest stages in Australian tennis.

In his second-round men’s singles match at the Australian Open on Wednesday night, at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena, he lost in straight sets to 18-seed Grigor Dimitrov.

He kept up with the Bulgarian former world number three during the first set, but the loss of a tie-breaker appeared to sap his energy.

He lost the remaining sets 6-1 and 6-1.

Still he will return home knowing that when he’s on song, he can take it up to the best in the world.

He will also be able to take a fair amount of solace in his winnings from the tournament: $150,000.

“I have a lot of belief in my game that I can take it to a lot of these guys, now that I’ve played a few of them over the past few years now,” Bolt had said after his first-round win.

“I’ll be coming in as the underdog – they’d be expected to win – but I haven’t been on the ATP tour for that long, so they wouldn’t know that much about me.”

Playing at home, in front of a home crowd, was more fun than playing internationally, he said.

“My mum and dad flew in yesterday to watch me play, from Murray Bridge … I don’t get to play in front of them very often, and to play in front of them here at a slam, it’s really nice,” he said.

The Murray Bridge product, granted a wild card entry into the tournament, had started his campaign on Monday by defeating 89-ranked Slovak Norbert Gombos in the first round of the men’s singles at Melbourne Park.

He took the win in four sets: 6-2, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Local legend hopes his preparation pays off

Bolt had shown encouraging form in Melbourne last week, coming within a game of defeating three-time grand slam winner Stan Wawrinka in the third round of the Melbourne Summer Series.

He spent much of the summer training in Brisbane after competing in four European tournaments late last year.

“I feel like I always play well after a long training block,” he told tennis.com.au on January 31.

“Playing at home in front of a great crowd, with all the support behind you, that certainly helps as well.

“I’m trying to prepare the best I can and make the most of the opportunity I have.”

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