Rain makes de Minaur wait a day in Sydney

Ruben Holloway
January 15, 2019

Australian teen sensation Alex de Minaur has emerged from a gruelling day on court to win his first ATP title, beating Andreas Seppi 7-5 7-6 (7-5) in the Sydney International final.

Forced to win through his semi-final on Saturday afternoon against Gilles Simon after rain washed out play on Friday night, de Minaur returned to the court six hours later for a gutsy straight-sets win over Seppi.

An ice bath, a massage and a private jet ride from Sydney to Melbourne after winning his first ATP title has refreshed Alex de Minaur enough for him to state he is ready to lead the host nation's hopes for the men's title at the Australian Open.

"It's surreal. I couldn't think of a better place to get my first win", said De Minaur, who has become the youngest victor in Sydney since mentor Lleyton Hewitt claimed the title in 2001. "It's been tough, because I have played a couple of finals and things haven't gone my way".

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Down in the first set and looking in trouble in the second, the two-time Grand slam victor fought her way back to edge out Barty in a three-set thriller 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3).

"What happened was, he was disappointed that the Australian Open had decided early in the piece that the bottom half of the draw was going to be played on the first day before people knew who was going to be in the final of Sydney and Auckland. But it's still ages away for me to even think about it".

In turn, it also handed Barty her second straight runner-up finish in Sydney, after losing to Angelique Kerber in last year's final.

Seppi called on all of his experience to stay with the youngster in the second set, finding the lines on both wings and dropping the ball short in a bid to keep De Minaur guessing.

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De Minaur is happy to be sharing the spotlight with his fellow 2018 Newcombe Medallist Barty.

"That's pretty much all I can ask from myself".

"In terms of the women's Plisokova is playing really well and Angie Kerber had a really good week at the Hopman Cup as well. It's all tough. But I'm very happy that I was able to get the win", he added.

Last year Barty won two WTA titles, reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open and earlier this week beat world number one Simona Halep in Sydney.

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