Rotterdam, Netherlands, 19 February 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Alex de Minaur believes his runner-up finish at an ATP 500 tournament in Rotterdam is “another big step in the right direction”.

The 25-year-old Australian scored two top-15 victories at the indoor hard-court event, which included a quarterfinal victory against world No.5 Andrey Rublev. This was his fourth top-10 triumph of the season.

However, De Minaur’s winning run came to an end in the final, with reigning Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner saluting 7-5 6-4.

“He’s playing an incredible level and just too good,” De Minaur acknowledged.

The most outstanding performers in Australian tennis this week include:

Alex de Minaur: The Aussie No.1 progressed to his 15th career ATP singles final, after beating world No.5 Andrey Rublev and world No.13 Grigor Dimitrov at the ATP 500 tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands). This was De Minaur’s first indoor hard-court final appearance since October 2020 and improves his season record to 10 wins from 13 matches.

John-Patrick Smith: The 35-year-old qualified and then advanced to the doubles quarterfinals alongside German partner Andreas Mies at the ATP 500 tournament in Rotterdam.

Rinky Hijikata: The 22-year-old scored his second career top-50 win (beating world No.43 Matteo Arnaldi) to progress to the singles quarterfinals at an ATP 250 tournament in Delray Beach (USA). This was Hijikata’s third career quarterfinal appearance at ATP level and his second of this season.

Jordan Thompson: The 29-year-old was a singles quarterfinalist at the ATP 250 tournament in Delray Beach. This was Thompson’s third ATP singles quarterfinal of the season.

Andrew Harris: The 29-year-old progressed to the doubles quarterfinals at the ATP 250 tournament in Delray Beach alongside Germany’s Dominik Koepfer.

Adam Walton: The 24-year-old made the singles quarterfinals at an ATP Challenger event in Bengaluru (India). This improves Walton’s recent record to eight wins from 10 matches.

Matthew Romios: The 24-year-old reached the doubles semifinals alongside Poland’s Piotr Matuszewski at the ATP Challenger event at Bengaluru. It continues a consistent start to the season for Romios, who has won at least one round in his past four tournaments.

Thomas Fancutt: The 28-year-old teamed with American Hunter Reese to reach the doubles semifinals at an ATP Challenger in Glasgow (Great Britain). The in-form Fancutt has made the semifinals or better in four of his five tournaments so far this season.

Talia Gibson: The 19-year-old advanced to the doubles semifinals at an ITF 50 tournament in Roehampton (Great Britain) alongside Lithuanian Justina Mikulskyte. Gibson lost in the second round of the singles competition to eventual finalist, Brit Heather Watson.

Seone Mendez: The 24-year-old reached the singles quarterfinals at an ITF 35 tournament in Antalya (Turkey).

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