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Aussie star Alex de Minaur couldn't overcome rising Italian star Jannick Sinner after his stoic Australian Open campaign came to an end.
The last Australian left in the men's single draw, de Minaur started strongly against the Italian but fell short in the opening set tiebreak.
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Sinner admitted he grew in confidence after the tiebreak and never looked back as his blasted 35 winners in his 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-4 victory.
The Australian No.1 tried to mount a late challenge, breaking back to trail 3-4 in the third set but the damage had been done.
De Minaur made 37 unforced errors to the Italian's 30, and created eight break points but was only able to capitalise on one.
"In the beginning, I was just serving well, he had more chances than me in the first set," Sinner said.
"Then after I tried to push the ball a little bit more, especially in the tiebreaker, first point, which maybe made a little bit of difference.
"I went into my confidence and after I played a bit stronger.
"It's very tough playing against Alex, especially here in Australia as he always plays very, very well."
Jannik Sinner has efficiently punctured the atmosphere on Rod Laver Arena, at least momentarily, leading de Minaur 7-6(3).
With the night session due to start in 20 minutes, we could be in for a late night/long morning.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) January 24, 2022
Italian Jannick Sinner makes Aus Open history
Rising World No.10 Sinner is a prospect no star wants to face in the quarter-final and his presence also marked a milestone for his nation.
Sinner's victory means it's the first time in 49 years that two Italians will feature in the quarter-final of the Australian Open.
Italian Matteo Berrettini defeated Pablo Busta Carreno to also reach the quarter-final.
Sinner outlast the Demon 🔥@janniksin secures his spot in the next round of the #AusOpen after his 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Alex De Minaur.
It's the first time in 49 years that two Italian players are in the QF of a Grand Slam 🇮🇹 🙌
🎥: @australianopen | #AusOpen | #AO2022 pic.twitter.com/WD0nooSTRh
— ATP Tour (@atptour) January 24, 2022
De Minaur may have fallen short of Sinner, but the start of 2022 has been encouraging,
A US Open quarter-finalist in 2020, de Minaur rose World No.17 in the world last August before a bout of COVID-19 ruined the second half of his season last year.
Now ranked 42nd, he vowed to add more power to his game in 2022 in a bid to take the next step at the slams.
With a win over world No.7 and 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini in Sydney already this summer, and now his charge to the Open's last 16, de Minaur is clearly moving in the right direction.
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