Alex de Minaur advances to Sydney men’s final vs Seppi

Ross Houston
January 14, 2019

The results continued an inspiring showing for the local contingent, with a trio of young Australians on debut - Astra Sharma, Zoe Hives and Kimberly Birrell - having kicked off proceedings earlier on day one.

Regardless, it showed world No.15 Barty is ready to challenge anyone at next week's Australian Open.

Kvitova had beaten Barty both the previous times they played, including in the Birmingham final in 2017, but she had to dig deep to win her eighth straight final, coming back from an 0-3 deficit in the final set.

"She's Aussie, so she (is) used to these conditions".

"(But) I felt good out there.

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 the Italian veteran.

Thompson, 24, had broken his teammate's serve early in the second set, but it was not enough to hold back the 19-year-old De Minaur.

"I'm very happy with my performance".

"I thought it would not happen", De Minaur expressed after the win. "I knew I had to be tough today to back it up from Sydney, and I'm proud to get it done in three sets".

De Minaur has soared 208 places to 29 in the ATP Rankings and was named ATP Newcomer of the Year after earning 28 tour-level victories throughout his 2018 campaign. Alex de Minaur won 2-0.

He then had to rush to Melbourne on Sunday on a private jet - "a small one" - in order to finalise his preparations for his first round clash with Portugal's Pedro Sousa at the season opening Grand Slam on Monday.

Sharma prevailed against countrywoman Priscilla Ho 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in an enthralling contest on the outside courts lasting two hours and nine minutes.

She more than doubled her prize money courtesy of the win over the wildcard Ho, earning $85,000, and it is just reward after she took a punt on a USA college scholarship to Vanderbilt University in Nashville after sustaining a broken ankle early in her career. "Definitely memories that are going to last forever". I fell in love with tennis after the epic 2008 Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

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