Demon Gets Off To Winning Start In Eastbourne

Sonego breezes past Millman in second round

Second seed Alex de Minaur began his quest for the Viking International Eastbourne crown on Wednesday when he defeated British wild card Liam Broady 6-3, 6-4 over one hour and 40 minutes.

“It was very intense,” said De Minaur. “A very tough match at a high level, against a tricky opponent, who has been playing great. It’s a part of the year that I love. I enjoy the grass-court swing and I want to make every match count.”

The Australian is currently at a career-high No. 18 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, having returned to the Top 20 for the first time in 18 months after a run to last week’s cinch Championships semi-finals (l. to Berrettini). He will next challenge Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the quarter-finals. De Minaur leads Pospisil 3-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.

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In a closely fought contest at Devonshire Park, De Minaur came under early pressure, but broke clear in the seventh game and completed the 46-minute opener with a backhand crosscourt winner. De Minaur appeared to be in control when he served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, but World No. 144 Broady raised his game for one final push.

De Minaur improves to a 17-14 match record on the season, which includes the Antalya Open crown (d. Bublik).

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Pospisil, celebrating his 31st birthday today, advanced mid-afternoon Wednesday having won the first set against sixth-seeded Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6(1) after 73 minutes. Davidovich Fokina required on-court treatment early in the match for a back injury, which had troubled him since Roland Garros.

Elsewhere, third-seeded Italian Lorenzo Sonego powered his way to a 6-4, 6-2 win over John Millman of Australia in 81 minutes. The 26-year-old Sonego, who captured a grass-court trophy two years ago in Antalya (d. Kecmanovic), now faces eighth-seeded Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik.

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