18 April 2024 | Vivienne Christie

Alex de Minaur has added another big-name win to his career-best season, after eliminating Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Barcelona Open.

De Minaur, seeded No.4 at the ATP 500 clay-court tournament, required an hour and 52 minutes to complete his 7-5 6-1 win.

He became the first Australian player to defeat the 22-time Grand Slam champion on clay.

It also ended Nadal’s eight-match winning streak on the surface, which dates back to his 2022 Roland Garros title win.

Nadal, a 12-time champion in Barcelona, noted De Minaur’s impressive progress in recent months, in which he has claimed wins over Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“Alex is a great player. In terms of tennis today, he was in better shape than me,” said Nadal, who has been limited to just five matches in an injury-disrupted season.

“He has really played at a very high level since the beginning of the season. I think he has made a very important step forward in his level of tennis. I’m just happy for him and I congratulate him for the level he played today.”


It improves De Minaur’s head-to-head record against the prolific Spaniard to two wins in five matches. His other win over Nadal occurred at the United Cup last year.

De Minaur was the second Australian player to progress to the third round in Barcelona, with Jordan Thompson claiming a three-sets win over Spaniard Jaime Munar earlier in the day.

The 29-year-old Sydneysider is sitting at a career-high world No.32 in the rankings, following his ATP-level title breakthrough at Los Cabos in February.

While De Minaur will aim to continue his progress in Barcelona – where he was a quarterfinalist last year and a semifinalist in 2022 – against Frenchman Arthur Fils, Thompson next faces No.3 seed Casper Ruud.

Aussies in action – Barcelona

Men’s singles, second round
[4] Alex de Minaur (AUS) d (PR) Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-1
[14] Jordan Thompson (AUS) d Jaume Munar (ESP) 6-4 2-6 6-4 b

Men’s singles, third round
[4] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [16] Arthur Fils (FRA)
[14] Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [3] Casper Ruud (NOR)

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