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De Minaur continues fast start to grass season

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Australia’s Alex de Minaur recorded yet another win on the European grass overnight, defeating former world No.3 Milos Raonic to advance to the semi-finals of the Libema Open.

The 7-5, 6-2 victory means de Minaur gets his grass season off to a perfect start, winning back-to-back matches to continue his momentum from a strong clay court season.

Other Australians weren’t quite so fortunate in the two ATP 250 tournaments taking place this week, with the runs of both James Duckworth and Aleksandar Vukic coming to an end.
Vukic fell in a deciding set tiebreak to No.6 seed Tallon Griekspoor, while Duckworth came up short against former world No.6 Matteo Berrettini.

Gritty win a good sign for de Minaur

The mark of a good player is being able to win, even when they aren’t playing their best.

That’s exactly what de Minaur did in the quarter-finals of the Libema Open against Raonic.

The world No.9 only managed to make 52% of first serves over the one-hour, 26-minute match. He was severely underpowered compared to Raonic, hitting just seven winners compared to the Canadian’s 17.

On several occasions, the de Minaur was forced to dig his way out of holes—down 0-30 and 0-40 in his final two service games of the first set. But the Aussie battled his way through some sub-par tennis at times, coming away with what will be a very satisfying win.

Tennis bookies now have him as a heavy favourite to win the tournament.

De Minaur pays just $2.10, down from $4 earlier in the week. His odds to win Wimbledon are also shortening, with the 25-year-old now sitting ninth favourite ($31) to win the year’s third Grand Slam.

Next up, de Minaur faces either Ugo Humbert or Gijs Brouwer, who are yet to complete their quarter-final match.

Aussie dominance to return at Queens?

De Minaur’s form on grass is a promising sign ahead of the Cinch Championships in Queens next week.

No Australian has won the ATP 500 tournament since Lleyton Hewitt in 2006. Prior to that, however, there had been a decade of Australian dominance.

Between 1997 and 2006, Australians won six of 10 titles at Queens. Four of these went to Hewitt, with Scott Draper and Mark Philippoussis picking up one each as well.

Can de Minaur add his name to the list of Aussies who have thrived on the grass heading into Wimbledon? By the looks of his tennis this week, he’s got a strong chance.

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