Australian Open

Shaky 'Demon' stutters into dream Nadal showdown

2019-01-16 14:49
Alex De Minaur
Alex De Minaur (AP)

Melbourne - Teenage Australian No 1 Alex de Minaur had to dig deep to keep his home Grand Slam hopes alive on Wednesday as he staggered into a dream third round showdown with Rafael Nadal.

Nicknamed "Demon" and wearing a flaming red shirt, the 27th seed tore into a two-set lead but was pegged back by little-known Swiss world No 166 Henri Laaksonen who forced a fifth set.

The young Aussie eventually stuttered across the finish line 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-3 after a marathon 3 hours and 52 minutes to reach the last 32 of his home Slam for the first time.

The 19-year-old warmed up for Melbourne by winning last week's Sydney International, following a quarter-final run at Brisbane the week before where he lost to 2008 Australian Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

De Minaur, slight in stature but with a deceptively powerful array of groundstrokes, raced through the first two sets in 74 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

But he was forced to dig deep to see off the tenacious 26-year-old Laaksonen, lifted by a huge, loud home support.

"That was definitely pretty special. First of all I'd like to thank everybody out here. The support was amazing as always and you guys got me through that. I can’t thank you guys enough," de Minaur said.

De Minaur is seen by many as the future of Australian tennis after flying up the rankings from outside the top 200 at the start of 2018.

He also got to the third round at Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

Results from Day 3 of the Australian Open on Wednesday:

Men

Round 2

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x14) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x19) bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

Tomas Berdych (CZE) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x18) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4

Marin Cilic (CRO x6) bt Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 7-5, 6-7 (9/11), 6-4, 6-4

Frances Tiafoe (USA) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA x5) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5

Fernando Verdasco (ESP x26) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3

Karen Khachanov (RUS x10) bt Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Daniel Evans (GBR) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3), 6-3

Taylor Fritz (USA) bt Gael Monfils (FRA x30) 6-3, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5)

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x22) bt John Millman (AUS) 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x20) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-5

Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) bt Reilly Opelka (USA) 6-7 (15/17), 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10/5)

Alex de Minaur (AUS x27) bt Henri Laaksonen (SUI) 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-3

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Matthew Ebden (AUS) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Women

Round 2

Sloane Stephens (USA x5) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3, 6-1

Petra Martic (CRO x31) bt Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 6-4, 7-5

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST x20) 6-3, 6-3

Caroline Garcia (FRA x19) bt Zoe Hives (AUS) 6-3, 6-3

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x15) bt Wang Yafan (CHN) 6-2, 6-3

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) bt Kiki Bertens (NED x9) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

Amanda Anisimova (USA) bt Lesya Tsurenko (UKR x24) 6-0, 6-2

Maria Sakkari (GRE) bt Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-1, 6-4

Danielle Collins (USA) bt Sachia Vickery (USA) 6-3, 7-5

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x3) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-1, 6-3

Kimberly Birrell (AUS) bt Donna Vekic (CRO x29) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1

Petra Kvitova (CZE x8) bt Irina Begu (ROU) 6-1, 6-3

Belinda Bencic (SUI) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x11) bt Katie Boulter (GBR) 6-3, 6-4

Angelique Kerber (GER x2) bt Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 6-2, 6-3

Read more on:    atp tour  |  australian open  |  alex de minaur  |  tennis

 

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