Cape Town - South Africa's Kevin Anderson bowed out of the Australian Open on Thursday after a second round defeat to 29th-seeded American Taylor Fritz.
Fritz, 22, came back from two sets down to win 4-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-2.
It appeared as though Anderson, 33, was coasting when he led by two sets and 4-2 in the third set, only for the American to stage a remarkable comeback.
Fritz broke back in the third set and went on to win it on a tie-break, before cruising through the final two sets.
Anderson, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, is currently ranked No 120 in the ATP rankings after an injury-riddled 2019 and will be gutted at letting slip a big opportunity to move deeper into the year’s first Grand Slam.
The 2.03m tall South African also lost at the second round stage of last year's Australian Open when he was beaten by Britain's Kyle Edmund.
Fritz will next face Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem - a player Anderson would not have minded facing as the South African boasts a 7-2 win-loss record against Thiem.
South Africa's other singles contestant, Lloyd Harris, lost in the first round to Argentine 14th-seed Diego Schwartzman.
In the men's doubles, South Africa's Raven Klaasen and his new Austrian partner Oliver Marach are through to the second round where they will play little-known Argentine Andres Molteni and his Monagasque partner, Hugo Nys on Friday.
- Compiled by Herman Mostert
Results on day four of the Australian Open Grand Slam at Melbourne Park on Thursday (x denotes seeding):
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1
Pablo Carreno-Busta (ESP x27) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4
Nick Kyrgios (AUS x23) bt Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
Karen Khachanov (RUS x16) bt Mikael Ymer (SWE) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10/8)
Gael Monfils (FRA x10) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 4-6, 7-6 (10/8), 6-4, 7-5
Ernests Gulbis (LAT) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 7-5, 6-3, 6-2
Taylor Fritz (USA x29) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA) 4-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-2
Dominic Thiem (AUT x5) bt Alex Bolt (AUS) 6-2, 5-7, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-2
Daniil Medvedev (RUS x4) bt Pedro Martinez (ESP) 7-5, 6-1, 6-3
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) bt Jaume Munar (ESP) 6-2, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2
John Isner (USA x19) bt Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) 6-4, 6-3, 6-3
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x15) bt Andreas Seppi (ITA) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
David Goffin (BEL x11) bt Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 1-6, 6-3
Andrey Rublev (RUS x17) bt Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x26) 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-4
Alexander Zverev (GER x7) bt Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 7-5
Belinda Bencic (SUI x6) bt Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 7-5, 7-5
Anett Kontaveit (EST x28) bt Sara Sorribes (ESP) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1
Donna Vekic (CRO x19) bt Alize Cornet (FRA) 6-4, 6-2
Iga Swiatek (POL) bt Carla Suarez (ESP) 6-3, 7-5
Elise Mertens (BEL x16) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 6-3, 6-0
Catherine Bellis (USA) bt Karolina Muchova (CZE x20) 6-4, 6-4
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Danielle Collins (USA x26) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
Simona Halep (ROU x4) bt Harriet Dart (GBR) 6-2, 6-4
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) bt Anna Blinkova (RUS) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Kiki Bertens (NED x9) bt Arina Rodionova (AUS) 6-3, 7-5
Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 6-3, 6-1
Angelique Kerber (GER x17) bt Priscilla Hon (AUS) 6-3, 6-2
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x30) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 7-5, 7-6 (7/1)
Karolina Pliskova (CZE x2) bt Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-3, 6-3
Anderson???? denied 3rd round spot!— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) January 23, 2020
The American 29th seed Taylor Fritz recovered from two sets down to prevail 4-6 6-7 7-6 6-2 6-2 against Anderson in the @AustralianOpen second round.
Next up for Anderson is the #SowetoTennisShowdown in Soweto on February 2.#AO2020 l #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/qtbBswmPQD