Alex de Minaur reaches new heights at Miami Open

League: Tennis

Posted on: 26 Mar, 2024 at 01:54 AM

Credit: Taya Gray/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ninth-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur set a personal best on Monday, reaching the fourth round of the Miami Open for the first time in his career with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over No. 24 seed Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany in Miami Gardens, Fla.

de Minaur battled windy conditions to earn his tour-leading 19th match win of 2024. He tallied 18 winners and had half as many unforced errors as Struff, who finished with 16.

"It wasn't going to be easy. It's super tough conditions," de Minaur said Monday. "I just tried to keep my head and keep composure. I was able to get a little bit lucky in big points today and happy to get the win."

Struff challenged de Minaur in the first-set tiebreaker, tying things at 3-all before losing his serve. That ignited a stretch in which de Minaur rattled off four straight wins to put the set away.

de Minaur then rode that momentum in the second set, only facing deficits of 1-0 and 2-1.

With the victory, de Minaur set up a meeting with Hungary's Fabian Marozsan, a 7-5, 6-3 winner over Alexei Popyrin of Australia on Monday. Marozsan downed de Minaur in the second round of the Rolex Shanghai Masters in 2023.

"He got me last time, so I know exactly what to expect," de Minaur said of the upcoming battle with Marozsan. "He's a hell of a player, he's playing great and he's super dangerous."

German fourth seed Alexander Zverev is also set to face a familiar foe after beating No. 31 seed Christopher Eubanks of the United States 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Zverev has 15th-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov up next, and Zverev prevailed when the two last met in the final of the Tokyo Olympics three years ago.

Khachanov topped Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo on Monday, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (5).

Top-seeded Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz also completed a sweep, knocking off France's Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-4. Alcaraz won 29 of 38 first-serve points and never trailed after knotting things at 2 in the first set.

"He's a great athlete. He reaches almost every ball," Alcaraz said of Monfils. "But at the same time, with my forehand, my best shot, I tried to move him around the court, tried to get him tired a little bit and give myself the chance to dominate the point, trying to go to the net and hitting my best shots."

Other winners Monday included No. 8 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland and 11th-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

Italian 23rd seed Lorenzo Musetti picked up a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over 16th-seeded American Ben Shelton in the final match of the night.

--Field Level Media