Despite a frightening experience on Monday night, Alex de Minaur has successfully advanced to the second round of the Australian Open. He is determined to avenge his loss against Matteo Arnaldi, his upcoming opponent, for the Davis Cup final from last year.
Australia’s top-ranked player prevailed on Rod Laver Arena against Milos Raonic after the Canadian was forced to withdraw due to a leg injury with the match finely poised at one set all with Di Minaur 2-0 up in the third.
The Australian expressed that it was not the way he had hoped to progress, but considering how he bounced back after losing the first set in a tiebreaker, he believes he can still gain something from the match.
“Afterwards, he stated that he will remain composed and focused, as five-set matches typically have a lengthy duration.”
No matter your circumstances, remain composed and confident in your ability to make a difference and improve any situation.
Raonic, who has previously held the No. 3 ranking in the world, challenged the favorite at home with his strong serving and bold shots.
The audience of 14,500 people at Rod Laver Arena were amazed by his performance, as he became the first Australian man to be ranked in the world’s top 10 since Lleyton Hewitt in 2006.
However, Raonic’s serve quickly caught the attention. In the first set, he was virtually unstoppable with nine aces and no opportunities for his opponent to break.
In the match against de Minaur, it was evident that the Canadian player was aiming to finish points swiftly. This strategy proved successful, largely due to his 21 winning shots.
De Minaur’s only moment of success was gaining a mini-break in the tiebreak, but his double-fault quickly erased that advantage. He expressed his frustration with a hop and glance at his box, highlighting the importance of the moment. Just one minute later, he lost the set.
“I struggled during the crucial moments, but that’s just how it goes,” De Minaur stated. “It was a five-set match, so I reminded myself to gather my composure and refocus for the second set.”
During the second set, the Australian player observed a decrease in his opponent’s serve speed and mobility. This was during de Minaur’s 6-3 victory, which took place against the stunning backdrop of a Melbourne sunset.
As the audience was getting comfortable for another late evening, the competition came to an end as the Canadian player hobbled to the net to greet the unexpectedly victorious Australian.
Prior to the tournament, De Minaur had defeated three players ranked in the top 10 at the United Cup in Perth, including the current world No.1, Novak Djokovic.
This increased the anticipation of those in attendance at Melbourne Park.
He admitted that he has had a strong start to the year. He plans to continue working hard and staying focused to maintain this momentum.
He stated that he did not experience any added stress at his hometown major tournament.
I don’t find playing in Australia to be anxiety-inducing or create more pressure. In fact, I see it as pure excitement. When I step onto the court, I am supported by an amazing crowd.
He mentioned his current focus on the upcoming round and his opponent from Italy, Arnaldi.
The player ranked 41st in the world emerged victorious against Alexei Popyrin in the initial singles match of the Davis Cup final last year. Unfortunately, De Minaur’s defeat against Jannik Sinner ultimately led to the end of their team’s chances in the competition.
De Minaur expressed his determination to seek retribution against Matteo, whom he associates with defeating his team in the Davis Cup final. He intends to give his best effort in order to achieve this goal.
“I am prepared for the challenge of facing a skilled opponent.”
The tournament saw a high attendance on Monday evening, with a total of 81,472 spectators, breaking last year’s record by over 2,000 people.