De Minaur Leads Aussie Charge
Home favourite Alex de Minaur equalled his best result at the Australian Open Saturday when he cruised past Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi 7-6(0), 6-2, 6-1 to reach the fourth round for a second consecutive year.
After winning a tight first set, in which he twice squandered break advantages, the Australian pulled away, committing just 12 unforced errors in the second and third sets combined to seal victory after two hours and 10 minutes.
With his fourth victory of the season, De Minaur now leads Bonzi 3-0 in their ATP Head2Head series. He will look to keep his run going when he takes on nine-time champion Novak Djokovic or 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.
The 23-year-old’s best result at a major came at the US Open in 2020, when he advanced to the quarter-finals.
De Minaur’s countryman Alexei Popyrin meets #NextGenATP American Ben Shelton later on Saturday. If Popyrin wins, it will be the first time since 2015 that two Australian men have reached the fourth round in Melbourne. Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios achieved the feat eight years ago.
In other action, Tommy Paul wasted little time in reaching the fourth round in Melbourne for the first time. The American overcame countryman Jenson Brooksby 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 to set up a clash against five-time finalist Andy Murray or Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
Paul, who is up to No. 33 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, struck 34 winners and saved all four break points he faced to seal victory after two hours and nine minutes. With his win, the 25-year-old has equalled his best Grand Slam result, having advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon last year.
Brooksby upset second seed Casper Ruud en route to the third round, but was unable to find the same level against Paul, who now leads the 22-year-old 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.