Top seed De Minaur starts strong in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

  • Posted: Jun 13, 2024

Headlining the field at an ATP Tour event appeared to suit Alex de Minaur on Thursday in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

The Australian held off Zizou Bergs for a 7-5, 6-4 opening victory at the Libema Open, where he is competing as the top seed for the first time in his tour-level career. Whatever extra pressure that may have brought, the No. 9 in the PIF ATP Rankings handled it with aplomb as he rallied from an early 1-4 deficit to notch a straight-sets win in one hour and 41 minutes.

“It feels great. Zizou is a hell of competitor and a very tricky opponent and I’m very happy I was able to sneak the win today,” said De Minaur in his on-court interview. “First win of the grass-court season, so hopefully there are many, many more.

“It’s my first match on the grass [this season]. I’ve been able to get a couple of [practice] sets here and there, but there is nothing like matches. it’s good to get the win under my belt and hopefully I can get some confidence from this.”

De Minaur won 86 per cent (32/37) of points behind his first serve, according to Infosys ATP Stats, to extend his winning record against Belgian opponents to 7-0. He has now won his past seven opening rounds on grass, and the 25-year-old will next take on Roberto Bautista Agut or Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals


There was double American joy earlier in the day in the Netherlands, where Tommy Paul and Sebastian Korda both won to ensure they would face off in the quarter-finals.

The second-seeded Paul pulled through a sticky start to his grass-court season to register a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 triumph against Alexei Popyrin. It was the World No. 13’s first victory in three attempts in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, where he is now into his fifth tour-level quarter-final on grass.

Korda battled past Luca Nardi 7-5, 7-5 to reach the last eight on his event debut. The seventh seed leads Paul 3-1 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series: Korda beat his countryman three times at ATP 250 level in 2021, before Paul prevailed in five sets at the 2022 US Open. None of their previous clashes were played on grass.

In a match that began on Wednesday evening, Aleksandar Vukic overcame fourth seed Karen Khachanov 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4). The pair returned to court on Thursday afternoon at one-set all, and it was the Australian World No. 87 who held his nerve to complete the upset and reach his maiden ATP Tour quarter-final on grass. Vukic will next take on defending champion and home favourite Tallon Griekspoor.


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