Alex de Minaur has steamrolled his way into the third round of the Australian Open with a clinical straight sets win on Thursday night.
Australia's top-ranked male player set up a third-round meeting with Fabio Fognini after beating Uruguay's world No.71 Pablo Cuevas on Margaret Court Arena.
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It was a clinical display from De Minaur whose win equal's the 21st seed's best-ever run at his home grand slam.
De Minaur was on song as he breezed through the opening two sets, before hitting a slight snag in the third.
Cuevas broke the Aussie and looked as if he was on course to pull a set back from the 21-year-old.
However, De Minaur drew on his trademark fighting spirit to halt the Uruguayan's momentum, eventually taking the third set 7-5 to seal his spot in the next round.
The impressive performance left De Minaur's legion of fans delighted on social media.
De Minaur is a weapon
— J (@vuckingtoffee) February 11, 2021
One of the things to like about De Minaur is that it never crosses his mind to concede a set and move on
— PWACrow (@pwa_crothers) February 11, 2021
Alex de Minaur's hair looking exceptional right now.
— Frith (@pluckyloser) February 11, 2021
— Abhinav Sharma 👨🏻💻 (@abhinav1126) February 11, 2021
De Minaur looked switched on all night. Brilliant game #AusOpen
— Davis Harrigan (@DeadlineDavis) February 11, 2021
So impressive from De Minaur. Kyrgios and Barty winning has meant he’s been able to slip under the radar somewhat. Good match up against Fognini next. #AusOpen
— Laurence Rosen (@LaurenceRosen) February 11, 2021
Oh I’m up for anything deminaur! Love watching him play.
— Peta (@goodie4peta) February 11, 2021
De Minaur is my favourite Aussie player, so humble when he plays win or lose classy player #AO2021
— Billy (@billyn321) February 11, 2021
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) February 11, 2021
Fiery Italian awaits Aussie star
De Minaur now faces a tricky third round clash against fiery Italian Fognini, who came through a five-set thriller against countryman Salvatore Caruso that ended in dramatic circumstances.
Fognini battled back from 1-5 down in the fifth set tiebreak, before finishing with a wet sail to keep his Australian Open campaign alive.
The drama was far from over after Fognini's epic 4-6 6-2 2-6 6-3 7-6 (14/12) victory, with both men engaging in a slanging match immediately afterwards.
😡 TEMPERS RUN HOT! 😡
😱 After 4⃣ hours on the court - Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso need to be separated! 😱
STREAM: https://t.co/TYsz5RZN3Z#9WWOS #AusOpen #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/14tUqvqAad
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) February 11, 2021
The two players traded verbal barbs in Italian, with the heated exchange providing an ugly end to a gripping contest.
Fognini and Caruso eventually had to be separated by security after their argument dragged on for more than a minute after the final point.
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