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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

DeMinaur set up for Grand Slam success

United Cup Director Stephen Farrow says Alex De Minaur’s United Cup run puts him in the “best possible position” for a competitive run at the Australian Open.  

 

De Minaur won three of his four matches, falling short against United Kingdom’s Cameron Norrie in his opening match. Since then, he went on to knock off three top-ten players - Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Taylor Fritz.  

 

Australia, represented by De Minaur, Alja Tomljanovic, Matt Ebden and Storm Hunter, fell agonisingly short, knocked out of the semi-finals by eventual champions Germany.  

 

Farrow told SportFM the tournament is highly competitive, and an “extremely popular format” for the players in the lead-up to the first Grand Slam of the year.  

 

“The guaranteed matches that players can get through this format are extremely popular, but players also want the opportunity to play for their country,” he said. 

 

“Because we have so many good players enter this event and want to be part of this event, it is fantastic highly competitive play which can put you in the best possible position to do well in Melbourne. 

 

“Look at Alex De Minaur now, he's flying into the top 10 - the first Australian man being in the top 10 in the world rankings since Lleyton Hewitt 20 years ago. The high on confidence and fantastic form, it's only going to set him up really well for the Australian Open.” 

 

On Sunday, Germany defeated Poland 1-2 in Sydney, winning the men’s singles and mixed doubles. World No.1 and tournament MVP Iga Swiatek gave Poland their only win for the night, defeating Angelique Kerber.  

A cramping Zverev triumphed over World No.9 Hubert Hurkacz in a three-set nailbiter, winning 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.



 He also partnered with Laura Siegemund to win the mixed doubles, making his sixth court appearance in three days.  

 

Farrow commended the German’s “gutsy” performance which ultimately led Germany to glory. 

 

“When you look at the longest matches in the tournament the top four were all matches featuring Alexander Zverev and we think that by rough calculation he spent over twenty-four hours on the court,” he said.  

 

“So gutsy beyond belief. He's an extremely talented player, a previous winner of the ATP tournament and a previous Grand Slam finalist. There's a lot that he can achieve.  

 

The Australian Open main draw commences on January 14, but will be without Rafael Nadal who withdrew after sustaining an injury during the Brisbane International. 

 

Nadal confirmed he had a ‘micro’ muscle tear and will return to Spain for treatment. 

 

Farrow says it’s “a pity” for the two-time Australian Open champion.  

 

“Who knows whether it is the last time we've seen him in Australia. We know how much he loved playing in Australia,” said Farrow. 

 

“Two years ago, when he won in Melbourne it was one of the most dramatic, memorable and emotional finals of all time. 

IMAGE: The Guardian


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