#NextGenATP De Minaur Survives Opelka Ace Parade To Reach Atlanta Final
#NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur and American Reilly Opelka have been dinner buddies this week at the BB&T Atlanta Open. The third seed may want to foot the bill tonight after holding off 28 aces from Opelka on Saturday to reach the final with a 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-3 win.
At age 20, De Minaur is the youngest finalist in tournament history. He’s through to his first ATP Tour final since winning the Sydney International in January (d. Seppi) and the fourth of his career. Although the Aussie endured a string of early exits on clay and grass while dealing with a groin injury, he’s 14-4 on hard courts this season and has looked confident since stepping back on his best surface.
“I’m really proud of where I am after suffering a tough injury. I’m back where I want to be,” said De Minaur. “I felt like I’ve been playing some great tennis, but not getting the wins that I wanted. I knew that sooner or later, I’d have a good result again.”
There were no service breaks in the first two sets of his semi-final with Opelka. De Minaur raced through the last three points of the first-set tie-break, but Opelka hung tough in a wild second-set tie-break that saw him lose three mini-break advantages before levelling the score.
After more than two hours of play, De Minaur earned the first break of the match to lead 3-2 in the deciding set. Buoyed by snapping Opelka’s streak of 47 consecutive service holds this week, the third seed broke once more to close out the match after two hours and 29 minutes. He improved to 2-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Opelka, having defeated the American this year in Sydney.
De Minaur will play second-seeded American Taylor Fritz or Brit Cameron Norrie in the final. The Aussie has never played Norrie, but defeated Fritz last year in the Next Gen ATP Finals.