Alex de Minaur bounces back from heartache amid drama for Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur

The Aussie is eyeing off a new career-high ranking after taking down Sebastian Korda and David Goffin.

Coco Gauff reacts, Alex de Minaur applauds the crowd and Ons Jabeur reacts.

Alex de Minaur has continued his strong bounceback after a devastating loss at the Australian Open, dispatching David Goffin to move into the quarter-finals at the Rotterdam Open. De Minaur is playing his first ATP-level tournament since his five-set loss to Andrey Rublev in the fourth round at the Australian Open.

De Minaur admitted he was shattered after the defeat and took a small break from tennis, before returning at the Rotterdam Open against Sebastian Korda on Tuesday. The Aussie continued his career-best form, which has seen him rise to World No.11, as he defeated the American 6-4 6-3 to advance into the round of 16.

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On Wednesday, the Aussie continued his run with a 6-3 6-1 win over Goffin to move into the quarters. De Minaur moved to 8-2 to start 2024 after an impressive build-up to the Australian Open, and the Aussie admitted the conditions were tough out on court from the start.

“It was probably a match where we both didn’t play our best level,” De Minaur said after the victory over Korda. “It’s always difficult coming into a new tournament. It was my first time hitting on centre court and it felt like a couple of balls were skidding out there. I’m happy with the effort. I got through, Seb’s a talented player and he was a very tricky opponent today.”

The Aussie is the No.5 seed in Rotterdam and will fancy his chances of going deep into the tournament. Jannik Sinner, Hubert Hurkacz, Holger Rune and Andrey Rublev are the only players seeded above him.

Alex de Minaur embraces Sebastian Korda.
Alex de Minaur (pictured left) is seeking a career-high ranking after defeating Sebastian Korda (pictured right). (Photo by Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

He has made the Rotterdam Open quarter-final twice before, but will be looking to advance to his first semi-final at the event and receive a further ranking boost. De Minaur could climb as high as World No.9 if he reaches the final of the tournament - which would better his previous career high of No.10.

Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur upset in round of 32

Meanwhile in Qatar, Ons Jabeur was once again left frustrated in the early rounds of a tournament having lost to Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko. Jabeur was left in tears on court during her Abu Dhabi Open loss last week when she was knocked out in her match to Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Jabeur lated admitted she was still battling a reoccurring knee injury throughout the tournament. And while many thought the World No.6 would bounce back in Qatar, she struggled to build momentum as she went down in straight sets.

There might be question marks over her future schedule with the Tunisian seeking form heading into the clay court season. Coco Gauff was also stunned in her first match since reaching the Australian Open semi final having gone down to Katerina Siniakova.

Gauff struggled on her second serve, a slight weakness Aryna Sabalenka pinpointed in their clash this year, having only won 32 per cent of the points. The 19-year-old was a little off the mark in her return in Qatar with the No.2 and No.4 seeds both eliminated from the draw.

Ons Jabeur reacts after a point.
Ons Jabeur (pictured) has struggled with form in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka breaks drought to reach quarter-finals

In arguably her biggest win of 2024 so far, Naomi Osaka defeated Petra Martic in a close 6-3 7-6 battle. Osaka was knocked out in the first round of the Australian Open against Caroline Garcia. But she defeated the Frenchwoman in her first round in Qatar and has followed it up with a brilliant win over Martic.

On Wednesday the former World No.1 reached the quarter-finals at a tournament for the first time in nearly two years after Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine withdrew because of injury. It marks her best run since she reached the final of the Miami Open in April 2022, where she lost to Iga Swiatek.

with AAP

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