Alex de Minaur calls out brutal detail as tennis world stunned by shock scenes at French Open

The Aussie star bowed out after he couldn't win the second set despite being up 4-0 in the tirebreak.

Alex de Minaur has lamented his inability to win the second set against Alexander Zverev from up 4-0 in the tiebreaker, after bowing out of the French Open in the quarter-finals. Zverev proved too strong for the Aussie star at Roland Garros on Wednesday night, advancing to the semis with a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 victory.

But the result could have been very different had de Minaur gone on to win the second set while up 4-0 in the breaker. The Aussie only managed to win one more point as Zverev completely turned the tables to take a two-set lead.

Alex de Minaur and Mirra Andreeva at the French Open.
Alex de Minaur lost to Alexander Zverev, while Mirra Andreeva stunned Aryna Sabalenka at the French Open. Image: French Open/Getty

In the end it was only two breaks of serve that cruelled de Minaur, who fell just short of becoming the first Australian man to make the semis at Roland Garros since Pat Rafter in 1997. The 25-year-old took plenty of positives out of his run to the quarters but was down in the dumps about what could have been.

"I put up a hell of a fight ... against a quality opponent," he said. "(I) had my chances, probably should have taken the second set, and we would have been in for a proper battle. Winning that changes the whole match, but it didn't happen. It slipped away.

"I left my heart out there. I did everything I could. It just wasn't good enough. Sure, I had some good highlights (but) highlights don't win you matches. I would rather be boring and win the match."


One poor service game at 3-3 effectively cost de Minaur the opening set, and he got a huge chance when leading 6-5 in the second. But Zverev not only rescued the game, he came back from 0-4 down in the breaker to dash the Aussie's spirit.

Another break in the sixth game of the third set looked like being fatal, but de Minaur broke back with a fabulous drop volley. Zverev then cranked up the pressure again to break de Minaur for a fifth time and seal victory in just under three hours.

"I played a pretty good fight, I did my best," de Minaur said. "He's a very good player, loves the clay and plays well here. He deserves the win today, and all the credit."

Zverev, who has an 8-2 record over de Minaur in their careers, will face Casper Ruud in the semis. Rudd was given free passage into the final four after Novak Djokovic was forced to withdraw with a knee injury.

In the women's draw, Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva produced one of the biggest upsets in French Open history to send World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka crashing out. Andreeva prevailed 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 in front of a stunned Court Philippe Chatrier crowd as Australian Open champ Sabalenka struggled with illness.

Mirra Andreeva after beating Aryna Sabalenka at the French Open.
Mirra Andreeva stunned Aryna Sabalenka and the tennis world at the French Open.

The 17-year-old Andreeva became the youngest grand slam semi-finalist since a 16-year-old Martina Hingis made the last four at the US Open in 1997. "Me and my coach (former Wimbledon champ Conchita Martinez) had a plan today, but again I didn't remember anything," Andreeva admitted on court, to much laughter. "I just try to play as I feel and that's it."

It was the second huge surprise of the day after Jasmine Paolini of Italy reached her first-ever grand slam semi by dumping out Elena Rybakina 6-2 4-6 6-4. "It's an unbelievable feeling, it was a really tough match," beamed Paolini.

with AAP