Demin comes out breath­ing fire

Shepparton News - - TENNIS -

Alex de Min­aur is up and run­ning at Mel­bourne Park, the teenage war­rior kick­start­ing his Aus­tralian Open cam­paign with a straight-sets win over Pe­dro Sousa.

De Min­aur dis­played no signs of any phys­i­cal or men­tal fa­tigue from his gru­elling week­end pro­gram at the Syd­ney In­ter­na­tional in com­fort­ably pro­gress­ing to round two with a 6-4 7-5 6-4 win yes­ter­day.

The 19-year-old had to play both his semi-fi­nal and fi­nal on Sat­ur­day en route to his maiden ATP ti­tle in Syd­ney.

And seeded for the time at a grand slam fol­low­ing his me­te­oric rank­ings rise last year from out­side the world’s top 100, de Min­aur had taken a pot shot at Open of­fi­cials for sched­ul­ing him on day one.

But he was all smiles again after of­fer­ing fans on Rod Laver Arena less than a two-hour glimpse of Aus­tralia’s new ten­nis sen­sa­tion.

It may have been fleet­ing, but it was also typ­i­cally lively.

‘‘I’m very happy with my per­for­mance. I thought I had to be really tough to­day and to back it up from Syd­ney. I’m really happy,’’ de Min­aur said.

‘‘. . . My team took me through a very tough pre-sea­son, es­pe­cially for the Aus­tralian sum­mer to back up day after day.

‘‘Very proud of the work we put in in the off-sea­son.

‘‘I’m glad off.’’

His re­ward is a re­turn to­mor­row to play Mirza Ba­sic or Henri Laak­so­nen for a likely third-round shootout with the great Rafael Nadal. it’s pay­ing From Shep­par­ton big things grow:

Alex de Min­aur, pic­tured win­ning the men’s sin­gles ti­tle at the Shep­par­ton Easter Tour­na­ment in 2015, won his first-round match at the Aus­tralian Open in straight sets yes­ter­day.

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