Rotterdam, Netherlands, 16 February 2024 | Matt Trollope

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Alex de Minaur’s brilliant 2024 season continues after the Aussie saw off world No.5 Andrey Rublev to progress to the semifinals in Rotterdam.

In their last meeting, Rublev won a pulsating five-setter in the fourth round of the Australian Open, denying De Minaur a first quarterfinal at his home Grand Slam tournament.

But on Friday at the indoor hard-court event, it was De Minaur who emerged with a 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3 victory.

It is the second straight year De Minaur has eliminated Rublev in Rotterdam, and he now leads their head-to-head series 4-3.

It was also notable given the result elevates De Minaur to No.9 in the ATP live rankings – a career high – and improves his 2024 record against top-10 opponents to a sparkling 4-1.

“I kept telling myself to be brave and go after it, because ultimately I can’t just run around against Andrey,” he said.

“He’s got too much power, too many weapons, and he’ll just dictate me from one side to the other.

“So if I want to be effective against Andrey, I’ve got to back myself, I’ve got to try to be aggressive and hit the ball flatter and bigger than I normally do.

“In big moments, I played great, and it got me the win today.”

De Minaur next faces Grigor Dimitrov for a place in his fifth career final at ATP 500 level.

Aussies in action – Rotterdam

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[5] Alex de Minaur (AUS) d [2] Andrey Rublev 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3 

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
[1] Ivan Dodig (CRO)/Austin Krajicek (USA) d [Q] John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) 4-6 6-4 [10-8]

Men’s singles, semifinals
[5] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [6] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)

Delray Beach, USA

Across the Atlantic in Florida, Jordan Thompson was eliminated on Friday from the Delray Beach tournament by American Tommy Paul.

Thompson did well to tighten the first set after trailing 4-1, but the third seed continued his strong form in the second en route to his sixth consecutive win, after capturing last week’s ATP title in Dallas.

Nevertheless, Thompson’s quarterfinal run could see him crack the top 40 for the first time when next week’s rankings are released.

Later on Friday evening (local time), another Australian, Rinky Hijikata, fell to another American seed in Taylor Fritz.

Fritz’s 6-3 6-3 win saw the top seed advance to the semifinals, completing an all-American line-up also featuring Paul, No.2 seed Frances Tiafoe and Marcos Giron.

Aussies in action – Delray Beach

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[3] Tommy Paul (USA) d Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-4 6-3
[1] Taylor Fritz (USA) d Rinky Hijikata (AUS) 6-3 6-3

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
Diego Hidalgo (ECU)/Cristian Rodriguez (COL) d Andrew Harris (AUS)/Dominik Koepfer (GER) 7-6(2) 7-6(4)

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