Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Daniil Medvedev fights back to beat Alex De Minaur in Sydney final

Daniil Medvedev fights back to beat Alex De Minaur in Sydney final

There were high hopes of an Aussie double in Sydney on Saturday night, but they were dashed by Angelique Kerber and Daniil Medvedev.

It was as if De Minaur had spent his formative years watching Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios receive extreme criticism for lacking that very trait, and was hell bent on showing Australia, at the first possible opportunity, he was something different. I'm sure he wouldn't make the comeback in the third set without the crowd.

His repertoire of shots and undaunted approach to big opponents have done that likeness favours too, and been the bread and butter of his extraordinary breakthrough.

"I have enjoyed every second of it. I left it all out there on the court", he said.

"I wanted to compete until the last point".

"I'm really happy with where my level's at the moment".

As Darren Cahill, the Australian former player and current coach of women's world No. 1 Simona Halep, observed, to outdo a breakout week one week later "shows the moxy of this young fella".

But De Minaur proved too steady, winning 6-4 6-4 to become the youngest male semi-finalist at the event in almost 30 years.

Even Britain's three-time grand slam victor Andy Murray was full of compliments for the Sydney-born boy who splits his time between Australia and Spain.

With that in mind, De Minaur is hard to tip against here and one expects the young Aussie to finish the job and end a great week on a great high.

He's the kid who rocks up to his press conference wearing his NSW State of Origin jersey and espouses his "Blue wall" philosophy of not letting a ball pass his diminutive frame.

The Sydney local will now await the victor of Feliciano Lopez and third seed Diego Schwartzman for what would be his second semi-final in as many tournaments.

De Minaur will need to rally all of his fighting spirit in the first round of Australian Open against world no.20 Tomas Berdych.

But the Czech veteran has already been put on notice. "It's great. I'm playing some unbelievable tennis, and I just want to keep it going, really", de Minaur said after the match. But now I've got that belief in me that I can go toe to toe with lots of guys out there. I think that's the only thing I can ask from myself.

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