London, Great Britain, 9 July 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Alex de Minaur can be excused for having a few nerves closing out his fourth-round victory against Frenchman Arthur Fils today at Wimbledon 2024.

Two years ago, the 25-year-old came tantalisingly close to advancing to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, only to squander a two-set lead, plus two match points, in a heartbreaking loss to Chile’s Cristian Garin.

But the scars of that five-hour battle are long gone, with ninth-seeded De Minaur playing with more conviction and self-belief than ever. This was evident as he survived a late comeback from world No.34 Fils to triumph 6-2 6-4 4-6 6-3 at No.1 Court.

“I’m super proud of myself to be into the quarterfinals here at Wimbledon,” a relieved De Minaur said.

“I definitely made it a lot harder than I probably should have, but happy to get through.”

Breaking to love in the opening game, De Minaur stamped his authority on the match early. It set the tone for the first set, which De Minaur raced through in 28 minutes against a shell-shocked opponent.

The 20-year-old Fils fought back in the second set, earning his first break and building a 3-0 advantage. But that lead soon evaporated, with De Minaur reeling off five consecutive games to wrest back control.

Determined not to let a two-set advantage slip again, De Minaur continued to heap the pressure on his less-experienced opponent. His incredible speed and defensive skills was forcing Fils to play longer points, which led to a costly 66 unforced errors from the Frenchman.

There was a slight moment of concern for De Minaur though towards of the end of the third set, when he was broken serving for a 5-3 lead.

A fired-up Fils took his chance, winning four consecutive games to take the set and keep his hopes alive.

It was a dramatic momentum shift which could have easily rattled De Minaur, but instead the world No.9 maintained his composure to build a 5-2 lead and eventually seal victory after two hours and 54 minutes on court.

“There was a lot going through my mind, so happy I was able to finish it off in the end,” De Minaur said. “It definitely wasn’t easy. It definitely wasn’t straightforward.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if it’s perfect, if it’s pretty, if it’s ugly or what it is, right? At the end of the day if I win the last point and I’m shaking my opponent’s hand and I have a big grin on my face, then it means I got the job done.”

This effort sees De Minaur extend his career-best run at the All England Club and become just the eighth Australian to progress to a men’s singles quarterfinal at Wimbledon in the past 30 years.

Wimbledon men’s singles
Australian quarterfinalists in past 30 years
Player Year
Jason Stoltenberg 1996
Todd Woodbridge 1997
Mark Philippoussis 1998, 1999, 2003
Pat Rafter 1999, 2000, 2001
Lleyton Hewitt 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009
Bernard Tomic 2011
Nick Kyrgios 2014, 2022
Alex de Minaur 2024

De Minaur’s reward is a quarterfinal showdown with world No.2 and seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic.

“I’m just excited to have another battle and give myself a shot,” De Minaur said. “One thing you can definitely count on, is me going out there and playing my heart out and trying my hardest.”

He also downplayed any injury concerns after appearing to hurt himself in the final stages of his victory against Fils.

> READ MORE: De Minaur “feeling pretty decent” after injury scare at Wimbledon 2024

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Men’s singles, fourth round
[9] Alex de Minaur (AUS) d Arthur Fils (FRA) 6-2 6-4 4-6 6-3

Men’s singles, quarterfinals
[9] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [2] Novak Djokovic (SRB)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 men’s singles draw

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