Australian Open: Alex de Minaur and Jannik Sinner remain on Novak Djokovic's trail

Alex de Minaur and Jannik Sinner played well in the Australian Opensecond round

by Jovica Ilic
Australian Open: Alex de Minaur and Jannik Sinner remain on Novak Djokovic's trail
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Jannik Sinner and Alex de Minaur are safely through into the third round of the Australian Open. Two players dominated in the second round under a roof at Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena, following world no. 1 Novak Djokovic into the last 32.

Sinner faced a qualifier Jasper de Jong and earned a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory in an hour and 43 minutes, reaching the third round in Melbourne for the third straight year. The Italian produced a clinic behind the initial shot on an indoor court, dropping nine points in 12 service games and keeping his rival miles away from break chances.

Sinner's return worked like a charm, taking 45% of the points and turning them into six breaks from 12 opportunities, two in each set. Jannik fired 26 winners and forged the advantage in the shortest, mid-range and most extended exchanges, sailing into the next round.

They produced four comfortable holds at the start of the match, with de Jong hoping for more in the rest of the set. Instead, Jannik placed a running forehand winner in the fifth game, earning two break points. World no. 4 seized the first after the rival's loose volley at the net, moving 3-2 in front and firing an ace in the next one to cement the lead.

The seventh game brought many turnarounds, with Jasper squandering his chances and experiencing five break points. The Dutch player sprayed a backhand error on the last, falling 5-2 behind and allowing the Italian to serve for the set in game eight.

Jannik attacked at 40-15 and fired a smash winner at the net, wrapping up the first part of the duel 6-2 in 36 minutes. Sinner barely lost a point behind the initial shot in the second set, challenging a qualifier to follow that pace to remain competitive.

De Jong played a wild forehand in the third game, suffering a break and falling 2-1 behind. The 4th seed clinched the next game at love with a service winner and pushed strong on the return in the next one. Jannik painted a forehand winner, delivering his second straight break and forging a 4-1 advantage.

Jannik Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Sinner grabbed the sixth game with a forced error and served for the set at 5-2. He held at 15 following Jasper's loose backhand, opening two sets to love advantage after an hour and 11 minutes and marching toward the finish line.

The third set saw the same outcome, with the Italian bringing four comfortable holds home and clinching two breaks to emerge at the top. De Jong kicked off the set with a double fault, losing serve and finding himself 2-0 behind after Sinner's booming serve.

The Dutch player placed a forehand long in the third game, encountering another break and falling 3-0 behind. The 4th seed opened a 4-0 lead with a forehand winner and held from 0-30 two games later for a 5-1 advantage, forcing his rival to serve to stay in the match.

Jasper brought the seventh game home before Jannik emerged at the top with a hold at love at 5-2, happy with how he performed. At the same time, Alex de Minaur competed at Rod Laver Arena and ousted the young Italian Matteo Arnaldi 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 in two hours.

Alex de Minaur and Jannik Sinner played well at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.

Alex sprayed 20 unforced errors fewer than Matteo and had the upper hand in the pivotal moments. The Aussie saved five out of six break points and pivoted half of the return points into seven return games from 14 chances.

De Minaur had a massive advantage in the shortest and more extended rallies, outplaying Arnaldi in every segment and giving the home crowd something to cheer about. An in-form Aussie denied a break point in the encounter's second game and painted a backhand down the line winner in the next one for three break points.

Alex clinched the third with a crafty lob, forcing a left-hander's mistake and moving in front. De Minaur closed the fourth game at love and landed an ace two games later for 4-2. Arnaldi cracked a forehand winner in the eighth game, earning a break chance and attacking.

De Minaur endured and saved it after his rival's mistake, holding and opening a 5-3 gap.

Alex de Minaur, Australian Open 2024© Cameron Spencer / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Matteo squandered two game points in game nine and placed a forehand beyond the baseline to hand the opener to Alex 6-3 after 43 minutes.

The Italian forced the Aussie's mistake at the beginning of the second set, earning two break points. De Minaur denied both with winners following entertaining points, showing his speed and skills and gaining a boost. Alex broke at 15 in game two, held in the next one with a fine smash and pushed strong on the return at 3-0.

Arnaldi netted a routine backhand, experiencing another break and extending his downfall. The Italian served to stay in the set at 0-5 and suffered another break, allowing the Aussie to clinch a bagel and forge two sets to love advantage after an hour and 16 minutes.

Matteo netted a backhand on a break point in the third set's first game and sprayed a forehand error in game two to give the serve away. Alex squandered a game point at 3-1 and lost serve for the only time after Matteo's booming backhand down the line winner.

The Italian held for 3-3 and served in game eight, hoping for another good hold. Instead, he played a careless backhand, losing serve and falling 5-3 behind. De Minaur served for the victory in game nine and held at 15 to emerge at the top and reach the third round at the home Major for the fifth straight time.

Alex De Minaur Jannik Sinner Novak Djokovic