Alex de Minaur fights back to win five-set US Open battle
Australia’s Alex de Minaur moves into US Open fourth round after a five-set win against No.11 seed Karen Khachanov.
Alex de Minaur has scored one of the best Grand Slam wins of his career to advance to the US Open fourth round.
The 21-year-old Australian defeated No.11-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-1 today in a third-round match full of extreme momentum swings.
De Minaur showed incredible grit to subdue a big-hitting opponent, who was untouchable at stages throughout the three hour, one minute match.
It is De Minaur’s second top-20 victory at a Grand Slam tournament and only the second time in his career that he has recovered from a two-sets-to-one deficit.
“I’m happy that I got through it and I managed to kind of turn things around,” De Minaur said.
“It was a tough one.”
Just another day for the demon 😈
He's through to Round 4 after rallying against Khachanov. pic.twitter.com/dgliWu6pew
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2020
De Minaur started strongly against the world No.16, hitting seven winners as he raced to a 4-1 lead in the opening set. Khachanov, on the other hand, quickly tallied 13 unforced errors.
The No.16-ranked Russian began to find his range in the second set, dictating points with his powerful groundstrokes.
In a remarkable second set turnaround, De Minaur won just seven points on serve and failed to win a game in a set for only the fourth time in his professional career.
Khachanov broke the Australian’s serve for a fifth consecutive time to begin the third set. A frustrated De Minaur kept fighting, but was unable to reel in Khachanov’s lead.
The No.21-seeded De Minaur tried to play more aggressively early in the fourth set – and it was a tactic that paid off. He built a 3-0 advantage, breaking the Khachanov serve for the first time since the opening set.
With his regained momentum, De Minaur was able to force a fifth set.
“I just made sure that he had to work in every one of his service games,” De Minaur explained of how he curbed Khachanov’s run.
Under pressure late in the match, the Australian produced his best tennis. He hit five winners and committed only one unforced error to dominate the deciding set. Khachanov, on the other hand, unravelled with 10 unforced errors.
De Minaur, who finished the match with 41 winners and eight aces, moves into a Grand Slam fourth round for the second time in his career.
He plays No.94-ranked Canadian Vasek Pospisil next. The No.28-ranked De Minaur has a 2-0 win-loss record against Pospisil, who upset No.8 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in five sets today.
“(I’m) definitely building some confidence,” De Minaur said. “Hopefully I can keep this momentum going and just keep playing some good tennis.”
De Minaur joins Davis Cup team-mate Jordan Thompson, who is enjoying a career-best Grand Slam run, in the fourth round.
“He’s like a big brother for me,” De Minaur said of the world No.63-ranked Thompson. “It’s amazing to see us both, and him kind of leading the way, in the fourth round. Hopefully we can just keep it going.”
It marks the first time in 19 years that two Australian men have progressed to this stage at the US Open. Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter, who were both top 10 seeds at the time, were the last to achieve this in 2001. Hewitt went on to win the title that year.
Aussies in action, day six results:
Men’s singles, third round
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) d  Karen Khachanov (RUS) 6-4 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-1