Fourteen-year-olds Alex de Minaur, left, and Axel Geller pose with their trophies and respective flags following their match in the final at the Orange Bowl in 2013.

De Minaur Settles Score With 'Old' Rival

Australian moves on in Miami qualifying with win over past foe Geller
Alex de Minaur and Axel Geller have a lot in common: They share a similar first name, a birth year (1999) and the potential for success on the ATP World Tour. They were on opposite ends of Court 6 in Crandon Park on Monday, where both teenagers battled in a first-round qualifying match at the Miami Open presented by Itau. De Minaur emerged victorious, 6-4, 6-0 after one hour and 27 minutes. 

This was their second meeting in South Florida; in 2013, de Minaur and Geller met in the final of the Orange Bowl. Both were 14 years old at the time; on that occasion it was Geller who walked away the winner, 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-2, to lift the Orange Bowl trophy.

For de Minaur, the win on Monday over an "old" rival was sweet revenge. 

"This is the second time I've played against him; we played before five years ago and it's fun to cross paths with a childhood rival," de Minaur told ATPWorldTour.com. "I've grown up since then; I'm stronger, I'm faster and I have more confidence. I'm happy with the win today; it's tough to play in this kind of heat and humidity."

The Australian #NextGenATP hopeful made his BNP Paribas Open debut last week by navigating his way through the qualifiers at Indian Wells. He earned his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 win (d. Struff) before falling to eventual champion Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round. Now, he's one win away from qualifying for the main draw at Key Biscayne. On Tuesday, the 19-year-old plays Belgian Ruben Bemelmans, who defeated Brazilian Joao Souza 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the second round of qualifying.
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