Australia’s Hopes of a Homegrown Champion End with De Minaur Loss

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
23/01/2024
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Last Aussie Standing, De Minaur Bows Out in Fourth Round in Melbourne.

With De Minaur’s fourth round loss, Australia won’t see a homegrown men’s singles champion for the 48th year running.  

News Insights

  • De Minaur serve proves costly
  • Rublev overcomes cramping with otherworldly ball striking
  • Australia will be without a homegrown men’s singles champion for the 48th year in a row
  • De Minaur devastated with the loss

It was always Alex De Minaur who had the best chance out of any Aussie to make a deep run at the Australian Open. Yet, as the last local standing, he bowed out in the fourth round for the third consecutive year after a four-hour battle with Andrey Rublev.  

De Minaur Finishes on the Wrong Side of Four Hour Thriller  

Alex De Minaur entered Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night looking to advance to his first ever Australian Open quarterfinal. In his way was world no.5 Andrey Rublev. The matchup was a clash of different styles of tennis. 
 
De Minaur is one of the best movers on tour and is known for keeping rallies alive and giving up no easy points. Rublev on the other hand is an aggressive player with some of the best pure ball striking on tour. As such, the matchup was bound to be a thriller, and that it was.  
 
Rublev drew first blood breaking De Minaur early in set one to take a 3-1 lead. De Minaur was able to strike back three games later however getting a break of his own.  
 
De Minaur would eventually find himself serving to stay in the set at 4-5 and was broken again, this time double faulting while Rublev had advantage.  
 
The second set was much different than the first as neither man was able to break the other’s serve as they entered into a tiebreak.  
 
In said tiebreak, De Minaur found himself up 6-5 and ripped a backhand winner to tie the match at a set a piece.  
 
With the crowd coming alive in the tiebreak, De Minaur carried his momentum into the next set as he broke Rublev in the second game then consolidated the break to take a 3-0 lead.  
 
Up 5-2 with Rublev serving, De Minaur had all the momentum as it looked like he was primed to close out the set fairly comfortably. Rublev however had other plans as he won the next three games to tie the set at 5s. 
 
Another tiebreak was needed and once again De Minaur came out on top thanks to another backhand winner.  
 
The fourth and fifth set’s saw Rublev really start to peel the cover off the ball. Seemingly dealing with cramping in his calf, the aggressive Rublev began trying to end rallies with what seemed like every shot.  
 
An unfortunately for De Minaur, his free swinging was working perfectly. The Aussie had no answer as Rublev was just too dominant. He ended up winning the fourth set 6-3 before taking the final 6-0 as he prevailed after 4 hours 14 minutes.  
 
What had seemed like it could have been his time to breakthrough was ripped from the grasp of De Minaur in aggressive fashion.  

De Minaur’s Serve Fails him when Needed Most 

De Minaur’s serve was one of the biggest let downs of the match as his first serve percentage was just 53%. With that, holds were tough to come by as he was broken eight times in the match.  
 
Especially when Rublev turned up the aggression, the inability to put a consistently strong first serve in killed De Minaur as Rublev was left to tee off on seconds.  

Loss left De Minaur Understandibly Devastated

De Minaur was clearly rattled after the match and was visibly disappointed. There was no silver lining for him in taking the 5 seed to the brink as he stated: 
 
“I'm absolutely devastated because I saw it as a great opportunity and a match that I strongly believed I could have won.” 
 
It’s a tough loss for the young Aussie but one that he will certainly learn from.  

Alex De Minaur was the last Aussie remaining in either singles draw at the Australian Open but was unfortunately ousted in the fourth round by Andrey Rublev. Dissapointing serving from De Minaur and powerful, and accurate ball striking by Rublev proved to make all the difference in their five set thriller.