Bernard Tomic has denied tennis fans another potential grudge match against Lleyton Hewitt pupil Alexei Popyrin.
Tomic and Popyrin were on a collision course to meet in the second round of qualifying at the ATP Tour’s Indian Wells Masters in California.
While Popyrin progressed with a routine 6-3 6-3 win over Slovak Jozef Kovalik, Tomic was unable to keep up his end of the bargain, falling 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 6-3 to Czech Lukas Rosol in his first outing since withdrawing from last week’s Mexican Open in Acapulco.
Popyrin, selected in Lleyton Hewitt’s Davis Cup squad last month just a fortnight after Tomic’s blistering attack on the Australian captain, will instead face Rosol in the second round of qualifying.
Tomic was scheduled to play Popyrin in the final round of qualifying in Acapulco but forfeited.