GALLANT EXIT: James Duckworth of Australia hits a return to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on the third day of the US Open.
GALLANT EXIT: James Duckworth of Australia hits a return to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on the third day of the US Open. JUSTIN LANE

Duckworth happy with rankings boost

TENNIS: James Duckworth is out of the US Open after a gallant four-set second-round loss to French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

But the Australian wildcard took plenty of positives out of his 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4 defeat to the ninth seed.

"I feel like there were still quite a few things I could have done better but I still matched it for the most part with a top-10 player so I've got to take some confidence from that,” Duckworth told media.

Another positive is that Duckworth's world ranking will climb to 171 after his first-round five-set win over Robin Hasse at the US Open.

He had slumped to 195th after missing four months this year with wrist and elbow injuries.

"I'm pretty eager now to drop that ranking so I can get direct entry to these events again,” Duckworth said. "I'm keen to just keep improving.”

The 24-year-old could be used as a hitting partner for Australia's Davis Cup play-off with Slovakia in two weeks, before heading to Asia for several tournaments.

His exit from Flushing Meadows leaves Nick Kyrgios as the last Aussie male standing, with the 14th seed to face Horacio Zeballos next.

Meanwhile, French Open champion Garbine Muguruza and Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic made shock exits in the second round of the US Open.

Canada's Raonic, the fifth seed, lost to world No.120 American qualifier Ryan Harrison 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 7-5 6-1.

Spanish third seed Muguruza lost 7-5 6-4 to Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova.

Top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic reached round three without hitting a ball as Jiri Vesely withdrew before their match with inflammation of his left forearm.

Two-time finalist Caroline Wozniacki fought back to beat ninth seed and former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Germany's Angelique Kerber, seeded second and in with a chance of taking the No.1 ranking, beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 6-2 7-6 (9-7).


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