Australian Open: Andrey Rublev edges Alex de Minaur in a cracker

Andrey Rublev needed over four hours to beat the home favorite at Rod Laver Arena

by Jovica Ilic
Australian Open: Andrey Rublev edges Alex de Minaur in a cracker
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Andrey Rublev earned his tenth Major quarter-final at the Australian Open following a thrilling 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 6-3, 6-0 victory over the home favorite Alex de Minaur in four hours and 14 minutes at Rod Laver Arena. Thus, Andrey moved into his sixth quarter-finals at the previous seven Majors played, hoping to take the next step and advance into his first Major semi-final.

Alex gave everything in front of the home crowd, winning two tie breaks before losing ground in sets four and five, finishing his Australian Open campaign in the fourth round for the third straight year. Both players hit six aces and double faults.

Rublev produced better numbers behind the first and second serve, taking 21 points more than his rival. Andrey sprayed 64 unforced errors, 14 more than Alex, erasing that deficit in the forced mistakes department. De Minaur suffered eight breaks from 13 chances offered to his rival, five in sets four and five.

The Russian played better in the pivotal moments, defending 13 out of 16 break points and emerging at the top. Rublev forged a tremendous 103-72 advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, with de Minaur reducing it a bit in the mid-range ones.

After surviving a massive scare against Thiago Seyboth Wild in the first round, Andrey scored two straight-sets victories before working hard again on Sunday. Rublev will have to dig deep in the next round if he wants to secure a spot in his first Major semi-final, with the 4th seed Jannik Sinner standing on the other side of the net.

Andrey broke Alex two times in the opening set for an initial advantage. The Russian hit a double fault in the encounter's first game and faced two break points. He denied them and held after the Aussie's mistake, avoiding an early setback.

Andrey claimed an extended rally in the fourth game and earned break chances. Rublev drew de Minaur's mistake on the first, moving in front and forging a 3-1 advantage. The Russian fired a service winner in the fifth game, opening a 4-1 lead before facing issues two games later.

Andrey Rublev, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Andrey hit a double fault at 4-2, offering Alex three break points and losing serve at love, bringing his rival back to the positive side.

De Minaur held in game eight for 4-4, and Rublev claimed the next one, ending his downfall and sending the pressure to the other side. Alex could not endure it, facing two set points in game ten. De Minaur hit a double fault on the second, losing the opener 6-4 in 44 minutes.

The second set went on for 75 minutes, with both players squandering break chances in four games and introducing a tie break. De Minaur defended nicely in the second game, saving a break point and leveling the score at 1-1.

The home favorite pushed strong on the return at 2-2, with three break points up for grabs. Rublev erased them with bold hitting and held with a volley winner after a lucky net cord for 3-2. Alex experienced a challenge in the sixth game, denying two break points with winners and holding with a service winner to level the score at 3-3.

Andrey Rublev defeated Alex de Minaur in five sets at Rod Laver Arena.

Alex de Minaur, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Andrey served in game seven and played against two break points, with both rivals losing the rhythm behind the initial shot.

The Russian saved them, the second with a forehand winner after a 35-shot exchange, remaining on the positive side. They served well in the last five games, arranging a tie break. De Minaur scored a mini-break in the eighth point, moving 5-3 up and earning two set points with a perfect lob winner in the tenth point.

The Aussie seized the second with a backhand crosscourt winner, leveling the overall score after an hour and 57 minutes. With a boost on his side, Alex grabbed a break in the second game of the third set after Andrey's wayward backhand.

De Minaur served well in games three, five and seven despite taking a medical timeout, opening a 5-2 gap with a booming serve and forcing Rublev to serve to stay in the set. The Russian held in game eight and defended a set point on the return in the next one after down the line attacks.

Andrey converted the second break point after Alex's costly double fault, bringing his opponent back to 4-5. Rublev served to stay in the set at 4-5 and faced a set point. The Russian hit a couple of lines and saved it with a forehand winner before introducing a tie break.

De Minaur moved 4-3 up after a lucky net cord volley winner and fired a service winner for three set points. The home favorite seized the second with a backhand down the line winner, moving two sets to one in front after three hours and seven minutes.

With no room for errors, Andrey notched a break in the second game of the fourth set with a forced error, holding in the next one for 3-0. Alex pulled the break back in game five, but instead of building on that, he suffered another break at 2-3 after a careless forehand that would cost him dearly.

Andrey Rublev, Australian Open 2024© Kelly Defina / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Andrey saved a break point in game seven with a service winner, holding and forging a 5-2 lead. The Russian served for the set in game nine and held with a service winner, leveling the overall score at 2-2 and forcing a decider after three hours and 44 minutes.

With a boost on his side, Rublev fired a backhand winner in the first game of the fifth set for a break at love. Losing steam, de Minaur experienced another break in game three and fell 3-0 behind after Rublev's mighty backhand down the line.

With nothing working his way, Alex suffered another break in game five after Andrey's powerful forehand return. The Russian served for the win and a bagel at 5-0, squandering a match point and facing three break chances. Andrey denied them and seized the second match point after forcing Alex's mistake, sealing the deal and moving into his tenth Major final at 26.

Australian Open Andrey Rublev Alex De Minaur