Tennis West Head Rob Kennedy says 2024 is the year Australian Tennis star Alex De Minaur has ‘shut down the critics’ amid a blistering French Open campaign. 

The top-ranked Australian men’s tennis player will feature in the quarterfinals after knocking off World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev in four sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3. 

This marks De Minaur’s second grand slam quarterfinal appearance – his first was in 2020 at the US Open.  

It is the first time in 20 years an Australian men’s player has made it to the top eight at the Roland Garros since Lleyton Hewitt. 

Speaking on SportFM, Kennedy says the victory over Medvedev was proof De Minaur is ready to step into the ‘winners category. ’

“De Minaur has absolutely shut down those critics,” he said.

“He’s been knocking out top 10 players, got himself into the top 10 himself at one point there as well, and just consistently knocking off these big players as he goes through these draws.  

“The really big things that stood out for me in this one, especially after that first set loss, it was an absolute dare I say, demolition for the next three sets after that. 

“What he did was 51 winners, 76% winning on his first serve. He threw down 200km per hour serve and was averaging 198 for the match. 

“He’s shown that he can now really step up and be in the winner’s category with the big players and not so much just a counterpuncher, and that bodes well for the rest of this tournament.” 

The challenge of World No. 4 Alexander Zverev awaits De Minaur in Wednesday’s quarterfinal as both players look to the semi-finals. 

The German denied Holgar Rune a place in the quarter-finals as the pair fought it our for five sets.  

Zverev is looking to reach his fourth consecutive French Open semi-final, while De Minaur is looking for his maiden grand slam semi-final appearance.

Kennedy believes that a new-era De Minaur is more than capable of advancing to the semi-finals, despite the head-to-head statistics falling in Zverev’s favour.

“They’re very different. Zverev was a huge first serve, he has a really strong forehand as well. Demon’s got the speed and the counter-punch style, the weapons to go with it,” he said. 

“They’ve got a bit of history against each other. It doesn’t look good on paper when you look at a 7-2 head-to in favour of Zverev, but if we look over 2024, they’re one-all.” 

“They’ve only played each other once on clay and that was back in 2022 at Rome. Zverev got that one, 7-3, 7-6.” 

“2024 is a new era for Alex De Minaur. I wouldn’t put it past him. For Zverev to come off a long five-setter and Demon to get off the court pretty quickly. He’s going to be nice and fresh.” 

Overnight, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic also beat Francisco Cerundolo to win a record-breaking 370th grand slam match.

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