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De Minaur advances as Duckworth, Vukic spring big upsets

James Duckworth
James Duckworth defeated Ben Shelton to advance to the next round of the 2024 Stuttgart Open.

Two Australian tennis players pulled off big upsets overnight, with James Duckworth and Aleksandar Vukic continuing their strong starts to the European grass season.

Duckworth was up against No.2 seed Ben Shelton at the Stuttgart Open in Germany. Having moved through qualifying to make the tournament’s main draw, the world No.101 played excellent tennis on the slick surface to defeat Shelton 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3.

For Vukic, it was an equally tight affair to dispatch former top-10 player Karen Khachanov in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Vukic won the opener against the No.4 seed, dropped a tight second set, then got over the line in a deciding set tiebreak, finishing at 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (4).

Alexei Popyrin almost made it three upsets overnight for the Aussies. The 24-year-old took world No.13 Tommy Paul to a third set but couldn’t stay with the American, going down 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

De Minaur in control in the Netherlands

While each of those Australian victories were big upsets with tennis betting sites, there’s one result that wasn’t.

World No.9 Alex de Minaur played his opening match of the Libema Open in the Netherlands, beating Belgium’s Zizou Bergs 7-5, 6-4.

The 25-year-old now sits at $3.40 to win the tournament, well ahead of his closest rival, Tallon Griekspoor ($4.75).

De Minaur faces a tough challenge in the next round as he seeks to win his second career grass title.

On the other side of the net will be former world No.3 Milos Raonic, who is returning from injury. The Canadian possesses a wicked first serve and a sharp net game, making his style particularly dangerous on grass.

The two have met just once before on the ATP Tour, six years ago on hard courts. Bookmakers aren’t phased by Raonic’s weapons, however, and give de Minaur a healthy edge in the betting.

Paying $1.36 to win and make his way through to the semi-finals, de Minaur is well ahead of Raonic’s $3.20 odds.

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