Lleyton Hewitt makes his Australian Open predictions

Paola Ditto
Gennaio 14, 2019

De Minaur, 19, beat Italian Andreas Seppi 7-5 7-6 (7-5) to become the youngest victor of the Sydney International since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.

Rising teenage star Alex de Minaur showed no ill effects following his short turnaround from winning the Sydney International by collecting a first-round triumph at the Australian Open.

The world No.29's court coverage was vast as always, regularly chasing down his Italian opponent's forehands and wearing the 34-year-old down over the 2hr 5min clash to make amends for last year's final loss to Daniil Medvedev.

'It's surreal. I couldn't think of a better place to get my first win.

De Minaur had arrived in Melbourne on a high note emotionally in the wake of his breakthrough win, although his Sydney campaign proved physically taxing after he was forced to play his semi-final and final on the same day as a result of inclement weather late in the tournament.

"I'm still processing it a bit but, yeah, unbelievable: my first grand slam and to get a win in the first one, it feels really great", Hives told AAP.

It came after de Minaur's earlier 1hr 34min 6-3 6-2 victory over Gilles Simon, where he was barely challenged despite temperatures of more than 30 degrees.

His gruelling day on court lasted three-and-a-half hours in total.

"You know, I'm excited to get out there and try and play my best tennis for myself, my team and the Australian public, but there is certainly no extra pressure from them".

"I wasn't doing too well in the pro circuit and ended up going to Vandy and definitely the coaches there took me under their wing and developed me for a good four, five years", Sharma said. I feel like I'm playing great tennis.

"I'm so excited to be back at the Australian Open".

"I came out and absolutely wouldn't be the player I am today if I didn't go".

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