Australia’s Alex De Minaur has charged into his first ever grand slam quarter-final with a straight sets victory over Canadian giant-killer Vasek Pospisil.
- The last time an Australian won a singles title at the US Open was Lleyton Hewitt in 2001
- The quarter-finals is the furthest Alex De Minaur has been in a grand slam
- The men’s draw is guaranteed to have a first time grand slam winner
World No.94 Pospisil had claimed two big scalps in the previous two rounds, taking out fellow Canadian and tournament 25th seed Milos Raonic in four sets in the second round, before beating eighth-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in five sets to make the round of 16.
But against the 21-year-old Australian he was not allowed to repeat the effort as he lost 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-2.
If the scoreline seems like it was all one-way traffic, it wasn’t always the case.
Pospisil led the first set tie-break 6-2 but blew all his set points as De Minaur rattled off six straight points to take the breaker 8-6.
The blow of losing the tiebreak from a winning position appeared too much for Pospisil, who was broken often and early in the second set, before getting one break back late in the set.
Ultimately though that would be his last real rally as the Australian proved far too consistent for the Canadian, who’s 43 winners were not enough to offset his 48 unforced errors.
For the more defensive-minded De Minaur the performance, minus the start of the opening set tie-break, was of a high quality and he knew the first set was all important.
“That first set was crucial,” De Minaur said post match.
“It was a couple of things going his way, then my way, and I ended up playing some good points in a row and got that tie-break.
“I tried to stay calm, played a couple of good points on my serve and got lucky.”
The win means De Minaur not only makes his first grand slam quarter-final but remains a chance to become the first new slam winner since Marin Cilic at the US Open in 2014.
The men’s draw opened up after top-ranked Serb Novak Djokovic was defaulted in his fourth round match when an errant ball he hit connected with the throat of a linesperson.
De Minaur will now play either perennial slam contender Dominic Thiem of Austria or another Canadian, Felix Auger-Aliassime, in the quarters.