Alex de Minaur dumps Kei Nishikori at the US Open

Updated: Sep 01, 2019, 11:03 IST | AFP

Australia's De Minaur, 20, promises to keep pushing top players after shocking Japan's World No. 7 Nishikori to enter pre-quarters

Alex de Minaur dumps Kei Nishikori at the US Open
Australia's Alex de Minaur reacts during his third round US Open match against Kei Nishikori. Pic/AFP

New York: Alex de Minaur, 20, said "this is where I want to be" after dumping out Kei Nishikori at the US Open on Friday to reach the Last 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time. The Australian defeated 2014 runner-up Kei Nishikori in four sets to earn a first win over a Top-10 player at the 12th attempt and advance to a meeting with Grigor Dimitrov or Polish lucky loser Kamil Majchrzak.

De Minaur also moved on from the anguish of last year’s five-set loss against Marin Cilic in the third round, and is on a potential quarter-final collision course with five-time champion Roger Federer. "I had a little bit of a thriller last year versus Cilic and was two sets to love up. I was glad I could finally get the win," De Minaur said after beating Nishikori 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

"Last year it was a bit of a heartbreaking match for me. It stung a lot, but you learn so much from it. You know that that’s your level. I have been in this situation before, and this is where I want to be," he added. "This is where I feel like my game’s at. I want to be pushing these guys, I want to be pushing second weeks of Grand Slams and putting myself out there."

De Minaur, ranked 38th, started the year by lifting his maiden ATP title in Sydney and reached the Australian Open’s last 32 before falling to eventual finalist Rafael Nadal. But a nagging groin injury, which forced him to take anti-inflammatory medication, stalled his progress and De Minaur, reliant on his quicksilver court speed, went winless for three months.

Kei
Kei Nishikori

He marked his return to form last month with a second career trophy in Atlanta, a run that was accompanied by a pencil-like moustache — charmed facial fluff that yielded success but was soon discarded. "It takes me like 17 years to grow that moustache."

De Minaur facts

  • Alex de Minaur split his childhood between Australia and Spain. He completed most of his early education in Spain, before returning to Australia as a teenager.
  • "Dee-mon!" — The fans chant in Australia.
  • "I wish I was as grown-up as Alex De Minaur on the tennis court," Andy Murray had tweeted last year.

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