DAZZLING DEMON DOWNS RISING ITALIAN AT MELBOURNE PARK


Photograph: Getty Images

22-year-old Aussie Alex De Minaur has booked his place in the second round of The Australian Open with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 come from behind win over rising Italian Lorenzo Musetti.

In the opening match of the night session on Margaret Court Arena, the No. 32 seed got off to a quick start, using his forehand to spearhead an aggressive brand of tennis, breaking the 19-year-old Italian to gain an early 3-1 lead in the contest. But the lead was short-lived. With his devilish one-handed backhand at his disposa his number one weapon, Musetti went on to win five games on the trot and claim the opening set 6-3.

“He found a little bit of a purple patch. I might have dropped my level a little bit, and, yeah, there went the first set,” De Minaur said in his post-match press conference.

The second set kicked off similarly to the first with the Aussie pushing Musetti behind the baseline to earn an early break of serve and race away to a 3-1 lead. This time around, De Minaur managed to consolidate that lead into a set, levelling the match after taking the second 6-3.

With all the momentum on his side, De Minaur blazed away to take the third set 6-0 in just 22 minutes, dropping just five points for the set.


"I was playing every point for its merit, and eventually things started to go my way and I was able to take control,” De Minaur exclaimed.

The momentum carried into the fourth set for De Minaur, slapping nine winners past the Italian to claim the fourth set and with that the match.

“For me, the most important thing was my attitude. You know, that was what won me the match today. I was positive throughout the whole match. Didn’t let anything get in my head, and I just kept on going," De Minaur said.

After No. 8 seed Casper Ruud withdrew from the tournament with an ankle injury, De Minaur’s bracket opened up. He faces Pole Kamil Majchrzak in the second round, and will not have to face a seed until the fourth round providing he makes it that far.