Los Cabos, Mexico, 1 August 2023 | Matt Trollope

Los Cabos, Mexico

Rinky Hijikata has bowed out in the first round of the ATP tournament in Los Cabos, falling to former world No.8 John Isner.

The young Australian could not recover from a slow start on Monday night at the Mexican hard-court event, losing 6-2 7-6(4).

Isner, 38, progresses to a second-round meeting with Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas.

He began strongly, breaking Hjikata twice in the opening set and again at the start of the second set to eventually build a 6-2 5-3 lead.

Yet as he was serving for the match, Hijikata broke the American to level the set, and moved ahead 3-0 in the ensuing tiebreak before Isner reeled him in.

Los Cabos was last year the site of Hijikata’s tour-level breakthrough; he qualified for the main draw and progressed to the second round, where he ultimately fell to No.1 seed Daniil Medvedev.

Then, Hijikata was ranked No.224, but this week he sits at a career-high ranking of 110th after winning 26 matches in 2023.

Fellow Australians Alex de Minaur and James Duckworth play their first-round matches at the 250-level tournament on Tuesday.

Hijikata will also appear on Tuesday, in his opening-round doubles match.

Aussies in action – Los Cabos

Men’s singles, first round
John Isner (USA) d Rinky Hijikata (AUS) 6-2 7-6(4)

Men’s singles, first round
[5] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [Q] Skander Mansouri (TUN)
James Duckworth (AUS) v Otto Virtanen (FIN)

Men’s doubles, first round
Rinky Hijikata (AUS)
/William Blumberg (USA) v Evan King (USA)/Reese Stalder (USA)
John Peers (AUS)
/Marcelo Melo (BRA) v Andrew Harris (AUS)/Dominik Koepfer (GER)