Alex de Minaur bows out of Australian Open

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Alex de Minaur prepared for “immense firepower” and copped it in spades as his Australian Open dream was crushed in a straight-sets defeat to emerging superstar Jannik Sinner.

Featuring in the second week at Melbourne Park for the first time, de Minaur had his sights set on a deep run at his home slam.

But rising world No.10 Sinner got through a first-set tiebreaker and took the fourth-round encounter away from his rival, blasting 35 winners in a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-4 victory.

The Australian No.1 tried to mount a late challenge, breaking back to trail 3-4 in the third set but the damage had been done.

De Minaur made 37 unforced errors to the Italian’s 30, and created eight break points but was only able to capitalise on one.

Sinner said he drew confidence after taking the tiebreak.

“In the beginning, I was just serving well, he had more chances than me in the first set,” he said.

“Then after I tried to push the ball a little bit more, especially in the tiebreaker, first point, which maybe made a little bit of difference.

“I went into my confidence and after I played a bit stronger.

“It’s very tough playing against Alex, especially here in Australia as he always plays very, very well.”

The ruthless Sinner is unbeaten for the year, having won all his matches at the ATP Cup and racing through to the Open quarter-finals for the loss of just one set.

The 20-year-old will meet either fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or American Taylor Fritz in the last eight as he eyes a first grand slam semi-final appearance.

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