Bolt bows out of Open at hands of Zverev

Alex Bolt's Australian Open is over after a third-round defeat to Germany's Alexander Zverev.
Alex Bolt's Australian Open is over after a third-round defeat to Germany's Alexander Zverev.

Alex Bolt's big Australian Open payday means he won't have to watch his pennies week to week while he tries to crack the world top 100.

Bolt's shock run at Melbourne Park hit a road-block on Saturday night in the form of world No.4 Alexander Zverev.

The wild-haired South Australian wildcard couldn't match the German star in their third round meeting on Rod Laver Arena, falling 6-3 6-3 6-2.

But the 26-year-old still picked up the biggest pay-cheque of is career, pocketing $155,000.

Bolt said the money meant he could play more tour events and hopefully push his current ranking of 155 into the top ton.

"It's going to help me throughout the year definitely," Bolt said.

"I'm not going to have to worry about week-to-week whether or not I'm going to have enough money to cover myself so it's a big thing for me."

Bolt wasn't in the same league as Zverev, who is leading the charge of Generation Next.

But the likeable country kid, who walked away from tennis three years ago for nine months and played bush footy, had plenty to be proud of.

Bolt captured the public's imagination in a rousing five-set win over former world No.6 Gilles Simon that followed a maiden grand slam victory in round one.

He produced some clever serving, including nine serve-volleys, to keep Zverev on his toes and pulled off some big forehand winners

But too often Bolt let himself down with unforced errors - 38 for the match - to take the pressure off the lanky German.

Bolt admitted he needed to improve his consistency.

"I thought my level was definitely there, but it's just the consistency that wavered for me," he said.

"I felt like my game is definitely there but I just I need to be able to maintain that for longer periods of time, then I think I'll be all right."

Australian Associated Press