Another Year, Another Sydney Final For De Minaur

Aussie No. 1 to face Seppi later Saturday for maiden ATP Tour title

Alex de Minaur reached his first ATP Tour final one year ago this week in Sydney, a tournament he entered as the No. 167 player in the ATP Rankings, before falling to Daniil Medvedev. Perhaps the second time will be the charm for De Minaur at the Sydney International.

De Minaur beat French veteran Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday to reach his third tour-level final. The Aussie will return later in the day to face veteran Andreas Seppi for the trophy.

In 2017, De Minaur began his season at World No. 208 before impressive runs to the Brisbane semi-finals and the Sydney championship match. This year, the 19-year-old entered Brisbane as the World No. 31 after a breakthrough campaign that he completed with a runner-up finish at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. And he has not disappointed the home crowd, advancing to the last eight in Brisbane and now another final in Sydney.

It was a strong performance against the No. 4 seed Simon for De Minaur, as he beat the former Top 10 player in one hour and 34 minutes, saving all five break points he faced. In the pair's only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting last year in Tokyo, De Minaur saved four match points before defeating Simon.

De Minaur’s opponent in the final, Seppi, claimed their only previous clash, last year in Monte-Carlo qualifying, in straight sets. This will be their first FedEx ATP Head2Head match-up.

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The Italian rolled back the years with a vintage performance on Friday night to advance to the Sydney final – his first ATP Tour title match for three-and-a-half years (2015 Gerry Weber Open).

The 34-year-old Italian remained in control for the majority of his 7-6(3), 6-4 semi-final victory over third-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman in one hour and 42 minutes. Seppi will now look to claim his first ATP Tour title since October 2012 at the VTB Kremlin Cup (d. Bellucci).

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