Alex de Minaur: Five Facts About Australia’s Latest Tennis Star - UBITENNIS
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Alex de Minaur: Five Facts About Australia’s Latest Tennis Star

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Alex de Minaur (zimbio.com)

17-year-old Alex de Minaur has made headlines on the opening day at the Australian Open. Making his debut in the main draw of a grand slam tournament, the teenager stunned Austria’s Gerald Melzer 5-7, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1, saving a match point on route. The win comes only two weeks after he made his ATP Tour debut in Brisbane, where he stunned Benoit Paire in the first round.

 

De Minaur is the first 17-year-old to win a grand slam match on the men’s tour since Borna Coric at the 2014 US Open. Tipped by many in his home country as the next big things in the men’s game, here are five things to know about the rising star.

Comes from a multi-national background

De Minaur was born in Sydney on February 17th 1999. His mother comes from Spain and father comes from Uruguay. He lived in Alicante, Spain until the age of five before he moved to Australia, where he was mentored by the national tennis body. Due to his international routes, de Minaur can speak English, Spanish and French.

Had a successful junior career

In February 2016, the Australian peaked at a high of 2nd in the world on the junior tour. Achieving good performances in both singles and doubles, De Minaur is the current Australian Open boys’ doubles champion and reached the final in the singles category at Wimbledon. His combined win-loss record on the junior circuit is 178 – 97 according to figures provided by the ITF.

Reached his first Challenger final in 2016

De Minaur’s first senior breakthrough occurred last November in Germany at the Bauer Watertechnology Cup, a Challenger event. After coming through qualifying, he knocked out Kenny de Schepper, Jurgen Melzer and Franko Skugor in the main draw on his way to the final. He was denied his first Challenger title by Belgium’s Steve Darcis.

Currently he has only won one senior trophy – a doubles title from a Futures tournament in Spain.

Has a close bond with Lleyton Hewitt

Seven-time grand slam doubles champion John Fitzgerald describes Minaur as “a young Lleyton Hewitt’. It is an association that will delight the teenager.

In recent years de Minaur has been cheered on and mentored by Hewitt. Leading up to this year’s Australian Open, the youngster has been residing in Hewitt’s house.

“It was great to just have that inside advice all the time and get his thoughts on everything,” De Minaur told Fairfax Media.
“It was a great preparation for the Australian Open. A very tough pre-season and I couldn’t be happier. I stayed with him in Sydney and also at his place in Melbourne. At the French Open last year in the juniors, he came out and we had a nice chat and told me that he would be very supportive of everything I needed.
“It’s been unbelievable the amount of stuff he’s done for me. I couldn’t be more grateful. I spent time with his family and we went out with the family for dinner together … it was nice.”

Hewitt was also 17 when he won his first grand slam match.

Nicknamed ‘Demon’ by fellow teammates

During his time as an orange boy (hitting partner) during Australia’s Davis Cup tie against Slovakia, De Minaur earnt the nickname ‘Demon’. It was given to him be teammates Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

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Alexander Zverev continues his winning streak in Cologne with a three-set win over John Millman

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Alexander Zverev edged John Millman 6-0 3-6 6-3 to advance the quarter finals at the bett 1 HULKS Championships in Cologne. 

 

Zverev scored his fifth consecutive match in Cologne after winning his first title of the year at last week’s bett 1 HULKS Indoors. The German player has won 11 of his past 12 matches on hard court. 

Zverev got three breaks in a row to take a bagel win in the third set. Millman, who pushed Zverev to five sets at  last year’s Roland Garros, broke serve in the second game to win the second set 6-3. Zverev broke in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead in the third set, as Millman hit his backhand long. Zverev faced three break points at 4-2 to hold his serve at deuce. 

“John is a someone who needs rhythm himself and against a baseliner, against a hard hitter, for me the harder you hit the ball against a hard hitter, for me you hit the ball against him the better it is for him. For me it is not easy to play slowly, so I think my game suits him quite well”, said Zverev.

Zverev set up a second round clash against Adrian Mannarino, who beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3 6-3. Zverev won all his three head-to-head matches against Mannarino and beat the Frenchman in four sets at this year’s US Open. 

Felix Auger Aliassime came back from one set down to beat Egor Gerasimov 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4). Gerasimov broke serve in the third game to win the first set 6-4. The second set went on serve in the first ten games to draw level to 5-5. Both players traded breaks in the 11th and 12th games to send the set to the tie-break. Auger Aliassime won the tie-break 7-2 to force the match to the third set. 

Auger Aliassime took a 4-3 lead after a streak of three consecutive breaks in the third set. Gerasimov broke serve in the tenth game to draw level to 5-5. Auger Aliassime got the first mini-break on the first point. Gerasimov broke back on the seventh pont to draw level to 4-4. Auger Aliassime earned a decisive mini-break on the ninth point to win the second tie-break 7-4. 

Jan Lennard Struff cruised past last week’s Sardinia Open Marco Cecchinato 6-3 6-1 with two breaks in each set to set up a second round match against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Steve Johnson 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.  Davidovich Fokina earned the first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Johnson broke straight back to draw level to 5-5. Davidovich Fokina got a double mini-break to take a 5-1 lead. Johnson pulled one mini-break back to claw his way back to 3-5. Davidovich Fokina earned his third mini-break earning three set points at 6-3. Both players traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games en route to 3-3. Davidovich Fokina reeled off the final three points thanks to a break in the eighth game and served out the win on his second match point. 

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Dan Evans On The Look Out For New Coach

The 30-year-old has come to a surprise decision to end his current coaching agreement despite achieving a career ranking high earlier this year.

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British No.1 Dan Evans is making a big change to his team after confirming that he will part ways with coach Mark Hilton at the end of the season.

 

The world No.35 reunited with Hilton just last year after also previously working with him prior to his drugs ban in 2017. Under his guidance Evans has achieved several wins over top 10 players, reached his first ever semi-final of an ATP 500 event in Dubai and peaked at a ranking best of 28th in March.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Mark for his work and efforts over the past 12 months and we are both excited for what is next for each of our respective careers,” Evans said.

Evans’ announcement came on the same day he ended his five-match losing streak on the Tour. In the first round of the European Open on Tuesday he defeated Italy’s Salvatore Caruso in three sets. Making it his first win since the US Open when he defeated Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Hilton will now return to working for the British LTA. A former player himself he reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Wimbledon boys doubles championships and peaked at a ranking high of 202 on the ATP Tour in singles. His best performance at a Grand Slam occurred at Wimbledon when as a wild card he stunned Spain’s Albert Costa in the first round of the 2004 tournament. Besides Evans, he has also previously worked with the likes of Liam Broady and Kyle Edmund.

“After discussing our plans for 2021, Dan and I have made the mutual decision to part ways at the end of November,” Hilton said in a statement.
“Both of us are very proud of our collaboration this year, helping Dan achieve a career-high ranking of number 28, seven wins over top-20 players and reaching his first ATP 500 semi-final.
“I’m looking forward to taking the experience I have gained over the last three years at the highest levels of the ATP Tour and re-investing that back into the LTA’s Performance Team for the benefit of our British players and coaches.”

It is unclear as to who may step in as Evans’ next coach. The Brit will return to action on Wednesday when he plays Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

Evans’ win-loss for 2020 currently stands at 14-11 on the ATP Tour.

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Alex De Minaur rallies from a set and a break down to beat Richard Gasquet in Antwerp

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Alex De Minaur came back from one set down to beat Richard Gasquet 3-6 7-6 6-3 in the opening round of the European Open in Antwerp. 

 

Gasquet had led by a set and a break and served for the match before De Minaur rallied to take a thrilling win. 

De Minaur recently beat Gasquet 6-4 6-3 6-7 7-5 in their recent head-to-head clash in the second round of the US Open,

De Minaur earned an immediate break in the first game of the opening set with a forehand winner into the corner. Gasquet broke straight back in the second game to draw level to 1-1. Both players held serve until the fifth game before Gasquet broke serve at 30 in the sixth game. The Frenchman consolidated the break for a 5-2 lead. De Minaur held serve with a drop-shot in the eighth game for 3-5. Gasquet served out the first set 6-3 with his forehand. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Gasquet converted his third break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Frenchman saved a break point to hold his serve at deuce for 4-2. 

Gasquet saved three break points in the eighth game at 4-3, but De Minaur broke back on his fifth break point to draw level to 5-5, as Gasquet was serving for the match. Gasquet made an unforced error, as he was serving for the win. De Minaur won the next two points to get back on serve. 

After two holds of serve the set came down to the tie-break. De Minaur got an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead in the tie-break. Gasquet broke back on the fifth point to draw level to 3-3. De Minaur earned his second mini-break on the 11th point, as Gasquet double faulted at 5-5. 

De Minaur broke in the seventh game with an inside-in forehand winner. Gasquet fended off a first match point on his serve with a volley. The Aussie player closed out the decider on the second match match point after 2 hours and 18 minutes, as Gasquet netted his forehand.

De Minaur scored his first win on the ATP Tour since reaching the quarter final at the US Open. The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up only dropped five service points in the decisive set. 

Daniel Evans edged past Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso 6-2 3-6 6-3 in 1 hour and 57 minutes to  set up a second round against Frances Tiafoe at the European Open in Antwerp. Evans fired nine aces and won 77 % of his first serve points. 

In the opening set Evans went up a double break to race out to a 4-1 lead. Caruso pulled one break back in the sixth game in the sixth game for 2-4. Evans broke for the third time in the seventh game and served out 6-2 on his second set point. The world number 35 hit 35 aces and won 64% of his first serve points. 

Caruso earned the break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead and served out the second set at love.

Evans broke serve in the fourth game to open up a 4-1, but he did not convert a double break point in the sixth game. Evans did not face any break points in his next service games to win the third set 6-3. 

Cameron Norrie rallied from 0-3 down in the second set to beat Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hhour and 37 minutes setting up a second round match against either Milos Raonic or Aljaz Bedene. 

Spain’s Pablo Andujar eased past Argentine lucky loser Federico Coria 6-2 6-3. Andujar will take on fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov. Coria replaced Kei Nishikori, who pulled out of the tournament due to a right shoulder injury. 

US qualifier Marcos Giron came back from one set down to beat Italian 17-year-old player Luca Nardi 4-6 6-4 6-1. Giron got the first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Nardi broke serve twice in the sixth and ninth games to win the first set. Giron won nine consecutive games from 4-6 3-4 down with four breaks. 

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