De Minaur Wins Fifth ATP Tour Title In Eastbourne

It is the Australian's first trophy on grass

Second seed Alex de Minaur fought back to overcome Lorenzo Sonego 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) and claim his first grass-court ATP Tour title at the Viking International Eastbourne on Saturday.

The Australian's four other tour-level crowns have come on hard courts, and he is now 8-2 on grass this season. He reached the quarter-finals at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart and the semi-finals at the cinch Championships in London. Victory over the Italian means he will move to a career-high No. 15 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

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“I had to pull through all my mental strength I had. I had to tell myself to try and be a bit more aggressive and go to win that match, not just wait for my opponent to lose it, because he was not going to do that,” De Minaur said. “I am very happy to have played more aggressively in the important points and stay in there, as it was not an easy match. I am happy to have my fifth title.

“My first emotion is relief, for finally getting these results, and ecstatic I have been able to pull through and play some good tennis. Every match has helped me confidence wise and strategy wise. Every mach I play, I take little things, what I could have done better, what I want to do next time I am in that position."

In a tight opening set, in which both won 68 per cent of their first-service points, they exchanged breaks early. De Minaur looked to dictate play on his forehand, but Sonego successfully moved the Australian around the court to gain a crucial break in the tenth game to clinch the set 6-4.

De Minaur fought back in the second set, moving 2-0 ahead as he started to hit the ball with more authority. The 23-year-old’s movement was as impressive as ever, and he won 90 per cent (9/10) of his second-service points to level.

The match continued to be a close affair in the decider with both increasing their level on serve as it moved to a tie-break. De Minaur continued to exert pressure on the Italian and moved 5/2 ahead. He was pegged back to 5/5, but re-composed himself to close out to win with a smash in two hours and 42 minutes.

Sonego was bidding to win his second ATP Tour title on grass, and third overall, after winning the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya crown (d. Kecmanovic) in 2019. Despite defeat, the World No. 27 has recorded 18 tour-level wins this season. Sonego is just two victories away from equalling his best-ever season, when he won 20 matches in 2019.