Demon hot under collar at Open draw
A FURIOUS Alex de Minaur has slammed Australian Open organisers for scheduling his opening match two days after he was forced to play back-to-back finals in searing heat.
De Minaur’s Sydney International semi-final against Gilles Simon was postponed at 11pm on Friday due to heavy rain, and moved to noon yesterday, meaning he had to play the semi and then back up in the final hours later.
The 19-year-old prodigy said playing twice in one day was compounded by his grand slam predicament next week.
“What’s more annoying is me having to play on Monday at the Australian Open and not getting helped out as a fellow Aussie at your home slam,” de Minaur said.
“I think they’re punishing Aussies for playing deep in their home tournaments, and I think that should not be what they should be doing.”
Asked whether he had requested a postponement from Tennis Australia of his first-round match in Melbourne against Portugal’s Pedro Sousa at Margaret Court Arena, de Minaur replied: “Yeah, I mean they came out with the schedule before they even saw the halves or saw who was in the finals the week prior. I think that’s pretty poor.”
De Minaur’s campaign is being hampered by his success in Sydney, and there is a possibility that had this not been his home tournament, the teen could have pulled out to give himself a better preparation for Melbourne.
Unfortunately, he encountered the hottest conditions of the week in his midday match yesterday, with temperatures soaring to 34C.
Nevertheless, de Minaur blitzed through Simon 6-3, 6-2 to earn his place in a second successive Sydney final, against Italy’s Andreas Seppi five hours later.
“It was quite hot out there,” de Minaur said. “It was pretty brutal conditions. It’s probably the hottest day we’ve had, very humid as well.
“Long rallies, pretty taxing, but this is what I do the hard work for, to go out there and back it up.”
De Minaur’s draw in Melbourne has him in line to play Rafael Nadal in the third round if both win.
Simon does not have to play his first-round match until Tuesday, along with Australian Nick Kyrgios, whose last match was the maligned loss to compatriot Bernard Tomic in Melbourne last Wednesday.
Tennis Australia was contacted for comment, but had not responded by the time of publishing.