De Minaur, Kvitova top in Sydney

Heather Diaz
January 14, 2019

This week Alex didn't drop a single set, and he impressed on Saturday when he won the semifinal against Gilles Simon in the morning (6-3 6-2) before beating in the evening Andreas Seppi in the final 7-5 7-6 (5).

Seppi hit 27 winners to De Minaur's 21, but the youngster made eight fewer unforced errors and won 20 points at the net to help seal the victory, showing no signs of fatigue having earlier beaten Simon after rain washed out the match on Friday.

"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".

"I thought it would not happen", De Minaur expressed after the win.

The Czech 2015 champion and fifth seed fought back from dropping the opening set and an early break in the final set to beat the top-ranked Aussie, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) in two hours 19 minutes.

Barty also insisted she'd enter this year's tournament better placed and as a better player than the one who was knocked out last year in the third round.

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The up-and-coming star's straight sets victory is the ideal warm-up two days out from his first-round Australian Open clash with Portugal's Pedro Sousa.

'And to finally be able to take that step further and get my first win, it's something that's really special in front of friends and family and in the courts I grew up'. "It's been tough, because I have played a couple of finals and things haven't gone my way".

Now the world number 29, De Minaur faced minimal trouble in dispatching Simon.

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

"I think they're punishing Aussies for playing deep in their home tournaments, and I think that should not be what they should be doing". I mean, this is why I have done all the hard work in the preseason.

"I came out and absolutely wouldn't be the player I am today if I didn't go". I feel like I'm playing great tennis.

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