De­mon hot un­der col­lar at Open draw

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - JAMIE PANDARAM

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.

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