Popyrin returns to US Open with point to prove
Determined to continue his climb back up the rankings, Australian Alexei Popyrin is hoping to produce a strong performance at this year's US Open.
At world No.84, Alexei Popyrin is currently Australia’s fifth highest-ranked male singles player.
Yet the 23-year-old, who is preparing to make his third main draw appearance at the US Open, is far from satisfied.
“I don’t think my ranking is where I want it to be, I think I’m still pretty low for what I see myself playing like,” he told tennis.com.au in New York.
Popyrin’s ranking rose as high as world No.59 in a career-best 2021 season, but dipped to No.127 in May this year.
The 196-centimetre talent has since returned to the world’s top 100 through success at ATP Challenger level, winning a title on clay in France then reaching back-to-back semifinals at grass-court events in Great Britain.
And despite only scoring two wins from his past eight matches, Popyrin declared he “feels good”.
“Results haven’t really been going my way the last couple of months, but that is what it is,” he said. “I’m keeping my head down, the work going and trusting the process.
“I’ve always believed that I had the game to be in the top 100, more so the top 50. For me, it’s just a matter of showing it out there, proving it on the court.”
Popyrin begins his US Open campaign against world No.89 Tseng Chun-hsin, a 21-year-old from Chinese Taipei.
Although it is Popyrin’s first professional meeting with the former world No.1 junior, they are well acquainted.
“I’ve known him since he was a junior. We used to practise together at the Mouratoglou academy together,” Popyrin explained.
“I know him very, very well … He’s a monster from the back, he doesn’t miss a ball. But I’m confident in my ability to be able to neutralise that and take advantage of his weaknesses.”
Popyrin’s confidence is also boosted by an impressive record at Flushing Meadows.
“I love playing here,” he said.
“I have special memories at the US Open. I’ve had lots of good matches, made the third round the two times I’ve played here. That’s my best results at Slams.
“Hopefully I can take it one step further, but I’m going to take it one match at a time.”
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