MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Local favourite Alex de Minaur beat Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-4 6-2 at the Rod Laver Arena on Saturday to move into the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career.
De Minaur’s victory livened up a sombre day at Melbourne Park after Australia’s Christopher O’Connell and Maddison Inglis had been knocked out.
With Australian greats Rod Laver and Lleyton Hewitt in attendance, the 22-year-old De Minaur played scintillating tennis, mixing his trademark defensive baseline strategy with plenty of approach shots at the net.
Andujar saved set points in the first two sets but 32nd seed De Minaur made no mistake when serving for the match, firing two aces before the Spaniard lost the contest with an unforced error.
De Minaur’s win sets up a last-16 clash with 11th seed Jannik Sinner, who beat Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel in four sets.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)