Alex de Minaur gets revenge over Andrey Rublev in epic response to Aus Open heartache

The Aussie tennis player has risen to a career high in the live ATP rankings.

Alex de Minaur, pictured here after beating Andrey Rublev at the Rotterdam Open.
Alex de Minaur got revenge over Andrey Rublev at the Rotterdam Open. Image: Getty/ATP

Alex de Minaur has surged to a career-high mark of World No.9 in the live ATP rankings after getting revenge over Australian Open conqueror Andrey Rublev in Rotterdam. De Minaur was left devastated after coughing up a two-sets-to-one lead against the Russian in the fourth round of the Australian Open, eventually losing in five sets.

It marked the fourth time (and third at the Australian Open) that the Aussie had lost in the fourth round of a grand slam in five attempts. But de Minaur exacted sweet revenge on Friday night in Rotterdam, beating Rublev 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 to reach the semi-finals.

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In doing so, the 24-year-old ensured he will return to the top 10 in the ATP rankings - and is likely to overtake his previous career-best of No.10. De Minaur became the first Australian man since mentor Lleyton Hewitt to reach the top 10 back in January, but fell down to No.11 after his loss at Melbourne Park.

But his win over Rublev has ensured he's firmly back in the top echelon of men's tennis. It marked the Aussie's fourth win over a top-10 player this year.

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The two-and-a-half hour win over the World No.5 demonstrated he's fully recovered from the shattering loss to Rublev in Melbourne four weeks ago, when he suffered a brutal 6-0 'bagel' in the fifth set. In another tight contest on Friday, de Minaur told himself he just had to "go for it" against the Russian.

"I kept telling myself to be brave and go after it, because ultimately I can't just run around against Andrey," the Aussie said. "Andrey's got too much power, too many weapons, and he'll just dictate me from one side to the other.

"So if I want to be effective against Andrey, I've got to back myself, I've got to try to be aggressive and hit the ball flatter and bigger than I normally do. In big moments, I played great - and it got me the win today."

Andrey Rublev in action against Alex de Minaur.
Andrey Rublev was his typically fiery self in his loss to Alex de Minaur.

De Minaur showed his brilliance in the opening-set tiebreaker when he came back from 2-4 down to win it. He came up with three dazzling points in a row to wrestled back control of the breaker.

He then gifted a break to Rublev early in the second set with a double fault, but in the decider the Australian showed why he's now won six of his last 10 matches against top-five opponents. He will now face Bulgarian veteran Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals - on his 25th birthday no less.

"I played him on my birthday (last year in Rotterdam), and he was rude enough to beat me when I was two match points up," de Minaur said. "I'm playing Grigor tomorrow (on Sunday Australian time), which will be my birthday again - so I'm hoping he's a little bit nicer to me. We'll see..." Dimitrov, who won the Brisbane International at the start of the season, sealed his place in the semis by beating Kazakh Alexander Shevchenko 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-4.

with AAP

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