United Cup: Impressive Alex de Minaur downs troubled Novak Djokovic

Alex de Minaur defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets in Perth

by Jovica Ilic
United Cup: Impressive Alex de Minaur downs troubled Novak Djokovic
© Paul Kane / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Alex de Minaur scored a career-best victory over Novak Djokovic at the United Cup! Alex took down world no. 1 6-4, 6-4 after a rock-solid performance in Perth, pushing Australia closer to a place in the United Cup semi-final.

Novak struggled with his right hand, feeling the pain and getting broken two times. The Serb sprayed too many mistakes and looked pale on the return, never standing a chance in his rival's games. De Minaur barely lost a point behind the initial shot in the opening set, keeping the pressure on his opponent, who could not play at his best due to his right hand issues.

Djokovic endured one challenging game before losing serve in the closing stages to hand the set to his rival. World no. 1 kicked off the action with a hold at love following a perfect backhand down the line winner. Novak missed a forehand in the second game, allowing Alex to hold at love and level the score at 1-1.

Alex de Minaur defeated Novak Djokovic at the United Cup.

De Minaur attacked in the third game, but Djokovic stayed composed and brought it home with a booming serve for 2-1. The home favorite served well in game four, firing a service winner and matching the rival's pace.

Novak grabbed another service game at 30, landing a forehand winner and moving 3-2 in front, still playing without significant issues. De Minaur clinched an entertaining point at the net in the sixth game, producing another fine hold and leveling the score at 3-3.

Novak started missing from his forehand in the seventh game, squandering a game point and facing break points. He denied the first with a powerful serve and erased the second with a crafty drop shot winner. Djokovic landed a precise serve for a vital hold and a 4-3 advantage.

De Minaur left those chances behind, holding at love in game eight and creating more return opportunities a few minutes later.

Novak Djokovic© Paul Kane / Stringer / Getty Images Sport

The Aussie grabbed a break at 15 when the Serb sprayed a forehand error, moving 5-4 in front and serving for the opener.

Alex held at 15 with a forehand attack, wrapping up the opener 6-4 after 49 minutes and gaining a boost. They served well in the second set's opening six games, staying neck and neck at 3-3. While looking a bit better in his games, Djokovic faced issues again in the seventh game.

He got broken after a double fault, pushing de Minaur 4-3 in front and closer to the finish line. The Aussie cemented the advantage with a hold at love in game eight, moving 5-3 up and keeping the pressure on the Serb. World no.

1 served to stay in the match in game nine and produced a hold at 30 to extend the battle. Alex served for the victory at 5-4 and missed three match points, the third after a double fault. The home favorite earned the fourth with a service winner and seized it after Djokovic's backhand error.

Alex De Minaur Novak Djokovic