De Minaur stops Nadal’s return and advances in Barcelona

The Australian is the first tennis player from his country to beat the Spaniard on clay

April 17, 2024

Alex De Minaur beat Nadal in two sets, solidly and in a hard-fought victory.
By Staff

After the effusive return of Rafael Nadal this Tuesday to the courts of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, the day after was not just another day, quite the opposite.

With a roller coaster of emotions and passages of very good tennis, world No. 11 Alex de Minaur, one of the fittest players on the Tour and fourth seed, stopped Nadal’s march by a hard-fought 7-5, 6 -1, to advance to the round of 16.

De Minaur is going through the best moment of his career in 2024 in a season in which he has debuted in the Top 10 of the PIF ATP Rankings, winning his biggest title at the ATP 500 in Acapulco, and from the first game, which began with a break , made it clear that he would demand the maximum from the fourteen-time Roland Garros champion and he did so: at all times he made him run, defend, using the drop shots well and having the pulse of the match almost at all times.

However, Nadal also did his thing, he tried to find rhythm with his shots, after his first official match on the surface in more than 680 days on the court that bears his name, and he had a reaction and a good impact, he was even able to win three games to go from 1-3 to 4-3 in the opening set.

However, at the close of the first set, Nadal received his own medicine from the Australian: mentality to keep the important points and an important break in game No. 11 to close the set 7-5, winning 12 of the last 14 points in play of the set from 4-5 at serve.

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The 25-year-old, who reached the quarterfinals in the two most recent editions (SF 2022 SF and CF in 2023), never looked back from there, breaking again in the third and fifth games of the second set and He headed towards victory without major surprises, after one hour and 51 minutes of play.

Meanwhile, De Minaur improved his record to 7-1 in his first rounds this season and will now face the winner of Daniel Altmaier and Arthur Fils for a place in the ATP500 quarterfinals.

Did you know…?
De Minaur became the first Australian to defeat the Spaniard on clay in his career (0-12 until today) and reduced it to 2-3 the Lexus ATP Head2Head against the Spaniard, after the first crossing on clay.


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