One of the stories of the Australian summer is continuing this week at the Sydney International. Alex de Minaur, the 18-year-old Aussie who reached the semi-finals of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp last week (l. to Harrison), collected another win on Tuesday at the Sydney International.
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The #NextGenATP Aussie, who’s from Sydney, saved six of seven break points and knocked out Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-2 in 76 minutes. De Minaur, who is receiving guidance from Lleyton Hewitt, will next meet seventh seed Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“It’s definitely helping me out every day I’m out here on court and competing,” said de Minaur. “It’s a huge boost in confidence, playing against high-level opponents and playing some great tennis, getting out of difficult situations, as well, which is helping me just feel confident out on court. I love the way I’m playing at the moment, and I really just want to keep it going.”
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Verdasco’s countryman Feliciano Lopez avoided an upset, coming back to beat Aussie qualifier Aleksander Vukic, No. 462 in the ATP Rankings, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3. Argentine Leonardo Mayer came through in his upset bid, overcoming eighth seed Mischa Zverev of Germany 7-5, 6-3. Mayer broke Zverev five times as the serve-and-volleying left-hander landed only 54 per cent of his first serves.
American Jared Donaldson got the better of Gilles Simon of France 6-1, 6-4, while Benoit Paire knocked out Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-3. Two days ago, Simon captured the 13th ATP World Tour title of his career – and his first for almost three years – at the Tata Open Maharashtra (d. Anderson).
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