Alex de Minaur crashes back to earth in brutal scenes at Monte Carlo Masters

The Aussie tennis star couldn't back up his staggering performance over Andy Murray.

Alex de Minaur, pictured here at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Alex de Minaur was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters by Jan-Lennard Struff. Image: Getty

Alex de Minaur has backed up one of the best performances of his career with one of his worst, crashing out of the Monte Carlo Masters in a straight-sets loss to Jan-Lennard Struff. The Aussie star produced an incredible victory over Andy Murray in the first round in a performance that left the Scottish veteran completely demoralised.

But de Minaur wasn't able to keep the momentum going on Wednesday, falling 6-3 6-2 to his German opponent - ranked 81 places lower than him at World No.100. Struff will now face fourth seed Casper Ruud, who defeated Botic van de Zandschulp 7-5 7-6 (7-1).

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"There's no way I would have thought that it would go so well. I'm very, very happy with the energy I put on the court," Struff said after his win over de Minaur.

De Minaur, the World No.19 and 14th seed in Monte Carlo, had crushed three-time grand slam champion Murray 6-1 6-3 in the round of 64. His loss to Struff will be a bitter pill to swallow considering how high he would have been after the win over Murray.

Altogether it wasn't a great day for the Aussies at the Masters 1000 event, with Alexei Popyrin also making an exit in the round of 32. The Australian, who beat Dusan Lajovic in straight-sets in the round of 64, was knocked out by Nicolas Jarry 3-6 7-5 6-4.

Pundits were highly critical of de Minaur's performance and left disappointed for the Aussie considering his promising win over Murray.

Daniil Medvedev sets up showdown with Alexander Zverev

Elsewhere, Daniil Medvedev cruised in his first match of the year on clay, defeating Italian wildcard Lorenzo Sonego 6-3 6-2 to set up a meeting with Alexander Zverev. The Russian broke Sonego in his first attempt and then twice more in the second set to reel off his 25th win in his past 26 matches at ATP level.

The former World No.1 traditionally struggles on clay and has a poor record at the French Open - his least-favoured grand slam event. However Medvedev is upbeat about how his clay campaign will pan out.

"Every match is a struggle, but I have had some good matches on clay," he said afterwards. "I managed to play good against a very strong player on clay.

"It's completely different on clay, but confidence is confidence. It's about winning matches, because it is always two players that play, and one is going to win... I hope to bring this confidence even further."

Daniil Medvedev, pictured here after beating Lorenzo Sonego at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Daniil Medvedev celebrates after beating Lorenzo Sonego at the Monte Carlo Masters. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Zverev, who is still working his way back to top gear after his ankle injury at the French Open last year, backed up a difficult first-round match against Alexander Bublik by beating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-4 on Wednesday. "I saw him (Zverev) in the first two matches, he seemed to be in good shape. I'm just going to have to be at my best," said Medvedev.

Casper Ruud, who won the title in Estoril last weekend, kicked off his Monte Carlo campaign with a 7-5 7-6 (7-1) win over Botic van de Zandschulp. Danish teenager Holger Rune swept past two-time French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem 6-2 6-4, while Jannik Sinner advanced after Diego Schwartzman retired while trailing by a set and a break.

American eighth seed Taylor Fritz beat 2014 Monte Carlo champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (12-10) 6-2. And Matteo Berrettini won a thrilling three-setter against Francisco Cerundolo despite blowing a 5-0 lead in the opening set. The Italian recovered to dominate the second-set tie-break before prevailing 5-7 7-6 (7-1) 6-4.

with agencies

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