Infotainment Factory: De Minaur stages comeback for the ages

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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

De Minaur stages comeback for the ages


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Alex de Minaur has cut down the equal-tallest man in professional tennis to move into the Sydney International quarter-finals for a second straight year.

In a match suspended on Tuesday night after just one game, de Minaur was relieved after returning to Ken Rosewall Arena 14 hours later to carve out a hard-earned 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory over towering American qualifier Reilly Opelka.

Opelka, who stands as high as tennis man mountain Ivo Karlovic at 211cm, thundered down 17 aces in 11 service games.

Crucially, de Minaur nabbed the only service break of the match before rain halted play late Monday night before fighting back from 4-1 down in the second-set tiebreaker to progress.

Alex de Minaur

"I think I got lucky today. Reilly's an incredibly tough opponent," de Minaur said.

"I took care of my chances. I would have loved to get the break in the second. I had a couple of chances, but I did well to focus on my serve and I'm glad things went my way today."

The fifth-seeded teenage ace, who has soared from No.208 to 29th in the world since making the Sydney final last year, has become a cult hero in front of home fans.

"There's nothing better than this. I love playing here. I love playing at home, loving playing in front of you guys and I can't wait to just keep it going," de Minaur said.

Alex de Minaur has cut down the equal-tallest man in professional tennis to move into the Sydney International quarter-finals for a second straight year.

In a match suspended on Tuesday night after just one game, de Minaur was relieved after returning to Ken Rosewall Arena 14 hours later to carve out a hard-earned 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory over towering American qualifier Reilly Opelka.

Opelka, who stands as high as tennis man mountain Ivo Karlovic at 211cm, thundered down 17 aces in 11 service games.

Crucially, de Minaur nabbed the only service break of the match before rain halted play late Monday night before fighting back from 4-1 down in the second-set tiebreaker to progress.

Alex de Minaur

"I think I got lucky today. Reilly's an incredibly tough opponent," de Minaur said.

"I took care of my chances. I would have loved to get the break in the second. I had a couple of chances, but I did well to focus on my serve and I'm glad things went my way today."

The fifth-seeded teenage ace, who has soared from No.208 to 29th in the world since making the Sydney final last year, has become a cult hero in front of home fans.

"There's nothing better than this. I love playing here. I love playing at home, loving playing in front of you guys and I can't wait to just keep it going," de Minaur said.

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