Rome, Italy , 13 May 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Alex de Minaur is enjoying a memorable run at the Italian Open, where he has advanced to the fourth round for the first time.

The 25-year-old Australian staged a stirring come-from-behind victory at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Rome today, edging out Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in an epic three-hour encounter.

De Minaur lost a tight opening set against the world No.20, who was a finalist at the Madrid Masters earlier this month. However, in trademark fashion, he managed to wear down his opponent to triumph 6-7(2) 6-4 6-4.

“Felix is a very good player on the clay,” De Minaur said. “He had a lot of confidence coming in, so I’m very happy how I stayed in the match at all stages. I was positive, no matter what came my way.”

This is De Minaur’s second career top-20 win on clay and his first since April 2022.

De Minaur admitted his clay-court game still has “plenty of room for improvement”.

“(But) every time I’m out here, I’m enjoying it with a proper mindset, and I think I can play well,” he said.

“I’m taking it a match at a time. I’m happy with a quality win on the clay today, and we move on.”

The ninth seed now turns his attention to a fourth-round clash with sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas leads their head-to-head record at tour level with 10 wins from their 11 meetings, however De Minaur triumphed in their most recent clash during his title-winning run at Acapulco in February.

Should De Minaur advance to the quarterfinals, he would become the first Australian man to reach this stage in Rome since Lleyton Hewitt in 2000.

Aussies in action – Rome

Men’s singles, third round
[9] Alex de Minaur (AUS) d [18] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 6-7(2) 6-4 6-4

Men’s singles, fourth round
[9] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [6] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)

Men’s doubles, second round
[2] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)/Andrea Vavassori (ITA)

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