Can Alex de Minaur‘s 2019 get any better?
The 19-year-old Aussie won his maiden ATP Tour title on Saturday, beating Andreas Seppi of Italy to take his hometown title at the Sydney International. Two days later, on Monday, the right-hander matched his best performance at his home Grand Slam, dismissing Portugal’s Pedro Sousa 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 at the Australian Open.
“The body is feeling good,” said De Minaur. “This is why you put in the hard yards in the pre-season, to be able to back it up day in and day out. I’m very happy with the effort I put in, in the pre-season. It’s good to see the work paying dividends right now.”
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De Minaur hit 17 winners and limited his unforced error count to 23, compared to 22 winners and 41 unforced errors from the 30-year-old Sousa, who was making his Grand Slam debut. The Aussie improved to 8-1 on the young season, and will next meet Mirza Basic of Bosnia and Herzegovina or Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen.
“[I am] happy to be able to get away with a win today,” said De Minaur. “It was pretty hot out there, but I thought I managed the conditions really well. [I am] happy to get through in straight sets.”