'Can't do that': Alex de Minaur called out over ugly act at Aus Open

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·Sports Editor
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Jannik Sinner and Alex de Minaur, pictured here shaking hands after their fourth round clash at the Australian Open.
Jannik Sinner and Alex de Minaur shake hands after their fourth round clash at the Australian Open. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP via Getty Images)

Alex de Minaur was called out by American tennis great Jim Courier on Monday as he let a chance slip to make the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

De Minaur cut a forlorn and frustrated figure after making a familiar exit from his home grand slam, this time at the hands of emerging superstar Jannik Sinner.

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The Australian star, who beat World No.7 Matteo Berrettini earlier this month at the ATP Cup in Sydney, dropped just one set at Melbourne Park en route to the fourth round and again threatened to go deep into his home slam.

But the 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-4 defeat to Sinner marked the sixth time De Minaur has exited a major tournament in the third or fourth round, including his last three appearances at Melbourne Park.

The 22-year-old racked up way too many errors, and one particularly wild one in the final game of the second set drew the ire of Courier.

With De Minaur needing to break Sinner's serve to stay alive, he had the crowd going nuts when he prevailed in a 20-shot rally with a brilliant winner.

However just seconds later he produced a wild forehand error after trying to go for too much on Sinner's next serve.

“That was a wild miss on that first serve. I wonder if that last point took a little out of him,” Courier said in commentary for Channel Nine.

“You cannot do that. You cannot do that. You just won a 20 shot rally. I think Alex got hyped and anxious, but that was the wrong decision.

"Those are the things that if you are [coach Adolfo Gutierrez] or Lleyton [Hewitt] you must be writing that down and having that discussion after the match, win or lose.

“The little moments in this game come up and they are so important. It is OK to miss the shot but miss the right shot. That was the wrong choice.”

Alex de Minaur, pictured here during his loss to Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open.
Alex de Minaur looks on during his loss to Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Alex de Minaur rues missed opportunities

De Minaur's lone appearance in a grand slam quarter-final remains the US Open in 2020.

"I had some good results and it was a little bit of a bittersweet ending," he said.

"I didn't want my Australian Open campaign to be done tonight, but it's just how it went.

"I had my chances and didn't take my opportunities, those break points early and I came up against an opponent that played very well.

"He played some very good tennis in the important moments."

Australia's No.1 male player prepared for "immense firepower" from Sinner and copped plenty of it.

The rising World No.10 - still just 20 years of age - got through a first-set tiebreaker and blasted 35 winners to reach his second grand slam quarter-final.

De Minaur tried to mount a late challenge, breaking back to trail 3-4 in the third set but the damage had been done.

The Sydneysider made 37 unforced errors to the Italian's 30, and created eight break points but was only able to capitalise on one.

"I had break points in the first game of the second set and I didn't convert again," De Minaur said.

"Up to that point I was 0-6 on break points and he started to lift his level as the court got shade.

"There was no more sun so he was really able to hit the ball through the court a lot more and we all know the amazing firepower that he has."

with AAP

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