Australian tennis player Alex de Minaur registered a dramatic 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 second-round upset win over World No 3 Daniil Medvedev at the Paris Masters, here on Wednesday.
Down an early break in the third set against Medvedev, De Minaur appeared to have let his early momentum slip but he hung tough to roar back and beat the 2020 champion and 2021 finalist Medvedev with a combination of relentless retrieving and nerveless serving at big moments, saving 12 of 15 break points he faced at the ATP Masters 1000 event.
“It’s a good one to get, for sure.It’s the end of the year, everyone’s a bit tired, but I’m very proud of my performance. I just played very smart,” said De Minaur.
“I knew it was going to be a chess match out there, both baiting each other to be aggressive, but you also didn’t want to be too aggressive at times. It was an absolute battle and I’m very happy I was able to come out on top,” he added.
De Minaur rallied from 0-2 in a topsy-turvy final set before he let slip two match points in an epic 10th game. Despite that disappointment, he was again aggressive on return at 6-5 and a Medvedev double fault on match point at 30/40 confirmed the biggest win of the World No. 25’s career.
The win against World No. 3 Medvedev was De Minaur’s first in 19 attempts against a player ranked in the Top 5 of the ATP Rankings. With the victory, De Minaur equalled his best showing in Paris, where he also reached the third round in 2019 and 2020.
Some trademark De Minaur defence had earlier clinched the first set for the Australian, who scrambled to put up a high ball on set point at 5-4, 30/40 before the fourth seed mishit the smash long. Although Medvedev upped his level to claim the second set and surge ahead in the third, De Minaur dug deep to prevail in a thrilling two-hour, 46-minute encounter.
The 23-year-old next faces a third-round meeting against 16th seed Frances Tiafoe, who earlier downed Next GenATP Briton Jack Draper 6-3, 7-5.
Joining De Minaur in the third round is Stefanos Tsitsipas, who kick-started his Paris campaign with a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 second-round win against Daniel Evans.
It was a Tour-leading 58th win of the season for the 2019 semi-finalist, who was pleased to return to winning ways in Paris after being forced to retire from his second-round match against Alexei Popyrin a year ago.
“I was really looking forward to going out there and playing a proper match,” said Tsitsipas after the match.
“Not great memories from last year but I was trying to give it another go this year. I’m happy with the way I played, I’m happy with the level of tennis I brought when I had to and (it was) a great start,” he added.
Tsitsipas broke Evans in his opening service game in both sets in Paris and did not relinquish his advantage in either as he struck 28 winners, including eight aces, in an 80-minute win.
The Greek now leads the Briton 4-0 in the pair’s ATP Head to Head series, with all of those victories coming in straight sets. The World No. 5 will next face 12th seed Cameron Norrie or home qualifier Corentin Moutet in Paris as he continues his bid for his third Masters 1000 title.