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Alex de Minaur has breezed past Italian, Matteo Arnaldi, 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 to reach the third round at the Australia Open.

While the Aussie came in “ready for battle” against the talented Italian, he said would “happily take that result” after a relatively one-sided match.

“Matteo is a talented player and has a lot of firepower. I knew I had to use the crowd and try to stay focused. It got tricky at the end but I’m happy to get through.” 

The Italian was swinging from the hips early but de Minaur was equal to the task, breaking Arnaldi early and holding his advantage. Making a big push at 5-3, the Sydney-sider broke Arnaldi’s serve to secure the first set.

The Aussie upped the ante in the second set, not dropping a single game, despite facing immense pressure on serve from the big-hitting Italian.

With Davis Cup Captain, Lleyton Hewitt spurring him on, de Minaur was a picture of consistency, taking the front foot early and never taking a backward step.

The 24-year-old Aussie has notably upped his aggression, which paid dividends for him in 2023, breaking into the top 10 for the first time in his career. This newfound aggression made all the difference in the end, alongside de Minaur’s trademark defence and rock-solid consistency.

With the rain bucketing down outside, playing under the Rod Laver Arena roof wasn’t an issue for de Minaur, who adapted to the conditions perfectly.

“I did find playing indoors probably a little bit harder to get the ball moving and out of his strike zone. But, saying that, I’m very happy how I was able to adapt and manage the conditions.”

A late push from Arnaldi late in the third set wasn’t enough to derail the de Minaur train, as the Australian broke back immediately to wrap up the match in comfortable fashion.

After going out to Italy at the Davis Cup last year, de Minaur was happy to get some “revenge” for Australia against his Italian opponent.

“It’s no secret it was heartbreaking to lose to Italy in the Davis Cup. Today was a little bit of revenge for Australia and I’m happy to be in the third round.”

De Minaur next plays Italian, Flavio Cobolli in the next round, who qualified for his first grand slam main draw as the top seed and upset 18th seed Nicolas Jarry in the first round.

The Aussie spoke to the rising Italian's talents:

" Cobolli has firepower and is rising up the rankings playing some great tennis, obviously came through qualies and it's not easy coming through qualies at a slam. He has definitely got a lot of confidence under his belt and will be very difficult to play against ".

At 41 in the world, Arnaldi is the highest-ranked player de Minaur has beaten at the Australian Open, his previous best coming against Frenchman, Adrian Mannarino in 2023, ranked 45 at the time. 

While his record against seeds is 0-6 at the AO, the Aussie played like a top-10 player today, which he will need to draw from to make a real tilt at the tournament.


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