DEMON DOWNED BY SIZZLING SINNER


Photograph: Getty Images

There are no longer any Aussie men left in the singles main draw of the Australian Open after Alex de Minaur was eliminated by Italian No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner in straight sets.


It was a disappointing end to the tournament for de Minaur who fought hard early but was eventually overwhelmed by the Italian, losing 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 35 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.


"Overall I think it's been a good Aussie summer for me. I've played some good matches, had some good results. Obviously a little bit of a bittersweet ending. [I] didn't really want my Australian Open campaign to be done tonight, but it's just how it went today," de Minaur said in his post-match press conference.


"I had chances. Didn't take those opportunities, those breakpoints early. You know, I came up with an opponent that played very well and just played some very good tennis in the important moments."


The first set was a major missed opportunity for the Aussie, who had four break point opportunities but was unable to convert any of them. De Minaur pushed Sinner in most of his service games, but the Italian, belting 18 winners past the 32nd seed managed to go unbroken, forcing a tiebreaker and stealing it 7-3.


The uphill battle for de Minaur was now even more difficult, and the match spiralled out of reach for the Aussie when he was broken early in the second set, eventually dropping it 3-6.


"I think [the] second set I had breakpoints first game of the second set, and I didn't convert kind of again. So I think after that point I was maybe 0-6 on breakpoints. And look, he started to lift his level as the court kind of had shade. There was no more sun. So he was able to really hit the ball through the court a lot more," de Minaur said.


The third set went similarly to the second. Demon was broken early and was unable to recover from that point, going down in straight sets.


de Minaur's Australian summer might be over, but the Aussie is now looking to draw from his improved form as he looks ahead to what's next on his agenda.


"I think my next tournament will be Rotterdam. Whether I stay here or not, I haven't decided yet," de Minaur explained.


"But considering my next tournament is in Europe, there is a good chance I'll head over there and kind of get ready for that.


But, yeah, it's been a good start to the season, bringing in some good momentum. You know, came up short today, but happy with where my level is going. It's definitely a big improvement from last year. And, you know, I'm excited for what's to come."


In terms of the next time we see de Minaur on Australian shores - he has put his hand up for Australia's Davis Cup qualifying tie against Hungary, to be played at Ken Rosewall Arena - his favourite stadium, on March 4-5.


"I've put my hand up for Davis Cup, to come back in I think it's March, we've got qualifiers against Hungary. If I'm in the team, I'll definitely be back here, so that's a time for me to be back," de Minaur exclaimed.


"We'll see. We never know. The tough thing with Australia is it's so far away. We do a lot of hours on the plane already, so if there is any way of minimizing that, then there is a good chance we will take that option."