Rod Laver praises young compatriot Alex de Minaur after a deep US Open run



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Rod Laver praises young compatriot Alex de Minaur after a deep US Open run

The Australian legend Rod Laver knows everything about how to earn notable results at the US Open. The Rocket claimed two trophies in New York in 1962 and 1969, his most famous seasons that propelled him towards tennis immortals.

The Aussies were the players to beat at the US Open during the 50s and 60s, stealing the thunder from the home nation and waiting for two and a half decades to celebrate more successes. Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt are the last Australian champions of the US Open, with no one to step in and continue where they left.

The young gun Alex de Minaur is through to his first Major quarter-final at the US Open, facing the 2nd seed Dominic Thiem on Wednesday. After hard-fought victories over Richard Gasquet and Karen Khachanov in over six hours, Alex took down Vasek Pospisil in the fourth round to hit the quarters, gathering recognition from Rod Laver himself.

De Minaur defeated Pospisil 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and 17 minutes, achieving his career-best result at Majors and staying on the title course. Alex had better numbers behind both the first and second serve, dropping 23 points in his games and suffering one break from the Canadian's two chances.

The Aussie seized four out of seven opportunities on the return, rattling off six straight points at 2-6 in the opening set tie break and playing better and better to cross the finish line in style. Vasek survived three deuces in the third game to avoid an early setback, with no chances for the returners before the tie break.

They traded a mini-break in the first four points before Pospisil shifted into a higher gear to forge a 6-2 advantage after a loose forehand from de Minaur. The Aussie survived four set points with a mixture of luck and good hitting, opening a 7-6 lead when Vasek sent a forehand beyond the baseline and stealing the set with a lovely forehand in the 14th point.

Alex de Minaur is through to his first Major quarter-final.

Alex had the momentum and used it intelligently, earning a break in the fourth game of the second set and moving 5-1 in front following Vasek's volley mistake at the net.

The Canadian pulled one break back with a return winner in game seven, reducing the deficit to 3-5 with a hold at 30 before de Minaur held in game nine and closed the set with a service winner to take a massive step towards the finish line.

The Aussie grabbed a break at love in the third game of the third set, wrapping up another service game at love to forge a 3-1 lead. Pospisil wasted game points at 2-4 to find himself further behind, drifting away from the finish line.

Serving for the triumph, the Aussie blasted a service winner to move over the top and secure the quarter-final berth, facing Dominic Thiem in the battle for the semis.