Wildcard Christopher O'Connell injured his hip early on in the match and ended up losing to Maxime Cressy. Despite the injury, O'Connell competed well but fell short in his attempt to reach the Australian Open round-of-16 as Cressy won 6-2 6-7 (6) 6-3 6-2.
“I did it on the first point of the match. I stumbled wide after a forehand,” O’Connell revealed post-match, per Tennis Australia. “I’m a bit sore, but with treatment it seemed to be ok. I’m not sure how I’m going to pull up though”.
O'Connell, 27, noted his run at this year's Australian open has been the highlight of his career. O'Connell beat Hugo Gaston in the first round before stunning Diego Schwartzman to clinch the biggest win of his career.
“It’s definitely the highlight of my career so far. To play some big matches this week has been awesome,” O'Connell enthused.
O'Connell set for a rankings jump
O'Connell, ranked at No. 175 in the world, expects to be back to around No.
140 when the ATP rankings list gets updated after the Australian Open. “My ranking dropped a bit at the end of last year. I haven’t seen it today, but I think it’s back around 140”. O’Connell said.
“That would get me into Indian Wells qualifying, Miami qualifying so it changes my planning a little bit moving forward”. O'Connell's return to tennis has been inspirational as at the start of 2018 he took a break from tennis and cleaned boats for a living.
“I decided to clean boats because I was so sick of being injured. I just didn’t want to be on a tennis court,” O’Connell told The Age in 2021. “My brother had a job there, so I just joined him, and it was pretty relaxing, just being on the water and cleaning boats.
“Even though the pay wasn’t as good as it would be being a tennis coach, it was quite relaxing for a few months doing that while I got the body right again”.