A frustrated James Duckworth has lost 6-4 7-6 (8-6) to French up-and-comer Arthur Rinderknech to complete a winless ATP Cup debut.
Rising into the world’s top 50 for the first time, Duckworth arrived confident after earning his place in Lleyton Hewitt’s Australian outfit.
But he missed the country’s opening clash against Italy with hip soreness, then lost both matches against Russia as the hosts failed to make the semi-final stage.
World No.58 Rinderknech was classy in the dead rubber, but the frustrations were clear for Duckworth, who at one stage screamed “horrendous” after a short return gifted his opponent another cheap point.
Alex de Minaur, who beat world No.7 Matteo Berrettini but was outclassed by world No.2 Daniil Medvedev earlier in the Cup, will play Ugo Humbert in the second singles rubber.