United Cup: De Minaur claims first win over Nadal
Alex de Minaur has claimed the biggest win of his career at the United Cup, overcoming Rafael Nadal in a stunning comeback victory at Ken Rosewall Arena.
Alex de Minaur has saved his best performance over Rafael Nadal for his favourite court of Ken Rosewall Arena.
The Australian registered his first-ever win over the 22-time Grand Slam champion at the United Cup, downing the Spaniard 3-6 6-1 7-5.
Marking a first win over Nadal in four meetings, it’s also one of the best of the 23-year-old’s career.
Until Monday night in Sydney, De Minaur had never beaten a player ranked No.1 or No.2 in the world – now he has beaten arguably the best of all-time.
“I couldn’t be happier to get my first win over Rafa on this court … there’s no secret that this is my favourite court in the world,” De Minaur said, acknowledging the city where he grew up.
“I knew it was going to be a battle – Rafa is a hell of a competitor.”
World No.2 Nadal started inauspiciously, going down an early break, only to reel off four straight games to snatch the first set.
That momentum continued with another break to start the second set, only for the Sydney local to produce some of his own trademark grit and storm through the next six games.
The decider was a mixed bag – De Minaur’s foot speed and ability to rip out winners from defensive positions against the brute force and experience of Nadal.
The pair traded breaks midway through the set before an error-strewn 11th game from Nadal saw De Minaur serve for the match.
There’d be no more drama as the Australian served it out to love to claim the win.
De Minaur finishes the tournament with a 1-1 singles record after also falling to Norrie.