Alex de Minaur is aiming to join a select group of Aussies to progress to an Australian Open men’s singles quarterfinal at Melbourne Park.
Alex de Minaur is building quite the impressive Australian Open record, and he’s recalling some Aussie greats in the process.
The 24-year-old advanced to the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the third consecutive year, the first Australian man to achieve this feat since Lleyton Hewitt from 2003 to 2005.
It is perhaps a good omen to match his mentor and Davis Cup captain, for Hewitt went on to reach the final in 2005 – his best run at the Australian Open.
Looking ahead to the finals is premature, but De Minaur certainly has the quarterfinals in his sights.
“I’ve made a couple fourth rounds in the past. I maybe have gotten to that point and not played the type of match I wanted to,” he admitted.
“I’m hoping I can break that barrier and go one further.”
Should he beat fifth seed Andrey Rublev in tonight’s fourth-round blockbuster, he would become the first Aussie to reach an Australian Open men’s singles quarterfinal since Nick Kyrgios nine years ago.
Kyrgios is one of just five Australian men to reach the quarterfinal stage in singles at Melbourne Park.
|Australian Open men’s singles
Aussie quarterfinalists since 1988
Rafter and Woodforde ultimately fell in the semifinals, while Cash, like Hewitt, went all the way to the final.
De Minaur has been trending up at his home Grand Slam ever since 2019, when he reached the third round.
After missing the Australian Open in 2020 due to an abdominal tear, he returned to the same stage in 2021, before second-week appearances in 2022, 2023 and this year.
It means he has won 13 of his past 17 matches at Melbourne Park.
He carries a six-match winning streak into his clash with Rublev, with three of those wins coming against top-10 players.
A win over world No.5 Rublev would be his fourth inside a month, an extraordinary success rate given he beat six top-10 opponents across the entire 2023 season.
“I probably must be feeling the freshest I’ve been getting at this stage of the tournament,: De Minaur said after his 6-3 6-3 6-1 third-round win over Flavio Cobolli.
“Obviously I got a little bit lucky with Milos (Raonic) pulling out (in the first round)….