Rising Australian star Alex de Minaur says everything changed on the court against Karen Khachanov when he shut up his mouth and fully focused on his game. De Minaur, seeded at No. 21, recovered from two sets to one down to beat No.
11 seed Khachanov 6-4 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-1 to reach the US Open round-of-16. "I think probably the biggest thing that I did differently was kind of just shut up and play. That was kind of my mentality. I was able to just be constant pressure throughout the whole match," de Minaur said.
"I felt like I didn't give him too many, you know, mistakes, and I just made sure that he had to work in every one of his service games. "So, look, I was happy that I was able to kind of get the early break and then kind of lead with it and ended up playing some great tennis.
"I back my fitness in any match, so I knew kind of I wasn't going to have problems physically. So it was all about me mentally. I'm happy I won that battle today."
De Minaur focused on himself, not other players
A round earlier, 2018 Paris Masters champion Khachanov overcame 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner.
De Minaur admits Sinner is a great talent but he wants to remain focused on himself and try not to talk much about other players. "The second question, look, as much as I love Jannik, and he's one of the greats and he's going to play some amazing tennis and he's an amazing talent, I probably would rather answer questions about myself.
I'm happy to be in the second week of the slam again. But, yeah, he's obviously a great player but I'd rather not to have to answer questions about him," de Minaur said. De Minaur will fight against former world No.
25 Vasek Pospisil for a place in the quarterfinal. Pospisil stunned Milos Raonic in the second round, before he put up another upset on Saturday, beating Roberto Bautista Agut. "Well, obviously even though Vasek isn't a seed, he's definitely playing like a top seed.
He's taken out both Milos and Bautista. He definitely deserves to be there. He's a very, very dangerous player," de Minaur said. "It's going to be a tough one. We're in the fourth round of the US Open, so happy to be there and ready for the battle, that's for sure."