Australian tennis star Alex De Minaur exits Stockholm Open one match away from 53-year record
Australian tennis star Alex De Minaur exits Stockholm Open just one match shy of 53-year-old record in ‘brutal match from start to finish’
- De Minaur fell to Holger Rune in a ‘brutal’ Stockholm Open semi-final
- The Aussie started well before the Danish teenager picked up a tough win
- It meant de Minaur failed to break a 53-year record for the Aussies
Australian tennis star Alex de Minaur is woefully short for a first in 53 years after a “brutal” semi-final loss to Danish teenage sensation Holger Rune at the Stockholm Open.
The 23-year-old was chasing his second ATP title of the season in Sweden but fell to Rune 6-4, 6-7 (1-7), 5-7 in what he described as a “brutal game of beginning to end”. end.
All expected the Sydneysider to make it to another hard-court final when they won the first set and led 3-1 in the second in Saturday’s final encounter with the young Dane.
But Rune’s steel, evident all season with the remarkable 19-year-old, brought him back into the competition, ultimately emerging victorious after a grueling contest that lasted two hours 52 minutes.
Australia’s Alex de Minaur looks to cut one in his ‘brutal’ semi-final loss to Dane Holger Rune at the Stockholm Open
It was a huge anti-climax for de Minaur, who has been in fine form all week at the Royal Tennis Hall in the Swedish capital, easily counting on Canadian superstar Denis Shapovalov, American JJ Wolf and Benjamin Bonzi to qualify for the semi-finals.
The popular Aussie won the Atlanta Open in July and was gallant at the US Open before beating Andy Murray at the Laver Cup – and is playing some of the best tennis of his career.
Had he reached Sunday’s final and won, as many expected, it would have been a first in 53 years for an Australian: no player from Down Under has won the tournament in its entire history.
Not only that, but de Minaur would have regained the national No. 1 spot that Nick Kyrgios annexed in his stellar year.
Alex de Minaur, pictured with girlfriend Katie Boulter, has been in fine form this season but sadly failed to win the Stockholm Open
Instead, it was the rising Rune who reached his third ATP Finals of the year by outlasting de Minaur in a classic contest.
He has now won his last five matches which ended in a deciding set; a wonderful testament to his struggle and durability.
“It was a brutal match from start to finish,” Rune said after the match.
‘Super long rallies. Really exhausting. He takes the ball very early and puts a lot of pressure on you but I was able to raise my level towards the end of the second set and started a little better than expected in the third.
“I’m super happy with how I fought until the end.”
It was truly a spectacular comeback from the Dane.
In such good shape that he was in the middle of the match, the youngster lost his set in the middle of a point but STILL managed to win the point in entertaining scenes.
De Minaur, as always, couldn’t be blamed for the fight either as he came from 3-0 down and 4-2 up in the final set, but although he tried to take the initiative, Rune’s own attacking instincts prevailed as he beat 45 winners. the 24 Australians.
Despite not quite succeeding in winning the title, de Minaur will be delighted to have recorded his fifth top-20 win of the season in Stockholm.
Rune, who started the season outside the top 100 but is now No.27, will face top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the league game after the Greek needed just 74 minutes to overtake Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2, 6-2 to maintain his unbeaten record in the event he won in 2018.
Danish teenage sensation Holger Rune celebrates winning over Aussie Alex de Minaur in the Stockholm Open semi-finals
“We’re both great fighters,” said Tsitsipas of Rune.
“He’s someone who has developed and done well lately. We’ve played against each other many times, more on the training ground, and I’m looking forward to this. battle.
This will be Rune’s third career final after the future star beat the world number one. 3 Alexander Zverev en route to his first ATP title on the clay courts of Munich last year.