Former Tennessee Vol Rhyne Williams had a chance to advance in his first Australian Open on Tuesday, going up two sets on No. 25 Florian Mayer.
Williams, a Knoxville native, however, lost the final three sets and Mayer came away with a 2-6, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (14), 6-1 victory.
Williams, who had 15 aces, but also eight double faults, had one match point in the marathon fourth-set, which lasted more than an hour thanks to a long tiebreak. It was Williams’ first five-set match as a professional.
A win over Mayer also would have been Williams’ first against a top-50 opponent.
Williams’ teammate at UT, John-Patrick Smith, lost to Joao Sousa, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
Smith, a Townsville, Australia, native, was playing in his first grand slam singles event. He also will play doubles.
Sousa, ranked No. 100 in the world, had 19 break point chances on Smith and capitalized on six of them.
Sousa advances to play Andy Murray, who beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-1, 6-3