Top-ranked Australian tennis player Alex de Minaur was happy with the way he kicked off his campaign at the Australian Open as he is targeting a deep run in front of his home fans. De Minaur, ranked at No. 23 in the world, handed a straight-set defeat to 2020 Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren 7-5 6-1 6-1 to reach the second round at Melbourne Park.
De Minaur claimed the first break of the match in the 12th game, when he realized his third set point on Sandgren's serve to win the opener. After losing a tight first set, Sandgren's game fell apart as he lost his serve five times in the rest of the match and got dominated by de Minaur.
“I was able to get through the first set nerves and loosen up a bit and play some of my best tennis,” de Minaur said, per Tennis Australia.
De Minaur happy to be back to Melbourne
"It’s honestly amazing to be back here in Melbourne, playing in front of my home crowd.
There’s nothing I love more and I’ve genuinely missed it,” de Minaur acknowledged. “I’m happy to be in the second round. Hopefully I can keep it going”. Earlier in the day, rising Australian star Alexei Popyrin surprised David Goffin, while Christopher O'Connell stunned Jan-Lennard Struff.
“It’s amazing to see,” De Minaur noted of the Australian success. “We’ve got Chris O’Connell beating his first top 40 or 50 opponent in Jan-Lennard Struff, he played an unbelievable ATP Cup.
We’ve got Popyrin, who just beat Goffin. I mean, I think it’s truly exciting. “Us Aussies, we always seem to play really well here in Australia. Now it’s time to kind of hopefully take this momentum with us and go conquer the world”. De Minaur plays next against Pablo Cuvas, who beat Andreas Seppi in the first round at Melbourne Park.