Alex de Minaur hits brilliant new high amid bad news for Katie Boulter at Miami Open

Mixed news for the tennis golden couple at the Masters 1000 event.

Alex de Minaur continues to break new ground amid his scintillating start to 2024, scoring his tour-leading 19th win of the year at the Miami Open on Monday. De Minaur was too good for Soonwoo Kwon on Sunday, beating the South Korean 6-3 6-2 in just 77 minutes in the round of 64.

He then continued on his winning ways on Monday, dispatching big-serving 24th seed Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (3) 6-4. It marked de Minaur's 19th win at ATP events in 2024 - more than any other man on the tour.

Alex de Minaur and Katie Boulter.
Alex de Minaur and Katie Boulter have both been on fire at the Miami Open.

But the news wasn't as good for girlfriend Katie Boulter, who endured a tough time against former Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka. After beating Brenda Fruhvirtova and Beatriz Haddad Maia to reach the round of 16, Boulter dropped the first set and went down an early break to Azarenka on Monday. She eventually succumbed 7-5 6-1 as Azarenka stormed into the quarter-finals.

De Minaur endured a poor start in his first match at the ATP 1000 event in Miami, going down 0-40 on his opening service game before rallying to hold. From there on he was a model of efficiency, not giving up another break point for the rest of the match while taking Soonwoo's serve four times.

Alex de Minaur to face Alexei Popyrin conqueror

Fellow Sydneysiders Alexei Popyrin and Chris O'Connell also won in straight sets at Miami Gardens on Sunday, meaning three Australians made the third round of the ATP Masters 1000 event. Popyrin beat Czech 26th seed Jiri Lehecka, who had won his maiden ATP tour event at the Adelaide International earlier this year, but lost to Fábián Marozsán 7-5 6-3 on Monday.

It means de Minaur will now face Marozsan in the round of 16. He's definitely the favourite, he got me last time," de Minaur said. "I know exactly what to expect. He's a hell of a player, he's playing great and he's super dangerous."

Maroszan had earlier delivered a major shock by defeating World No.7 Holger Rune 6-1 6-1 in just under an hour. Maroszan also beat Carlos Alcaraz in Rome and Casper Ruud in Shanghai last year. O'Connell then beat American player Martin Damm Jr 7-6 (5) 7-6 (5) in his fourth-round clash. He will face the red-hot Jannik Sinner in the round of 16.

Aryna Sabalenka exits Miami Open in emotional scenes

There were sad and emotional scenes for Aryna Sabalenka on Saturday when the World No.2 exited the tournament at the hands of Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina. Sabalenka had kept her emotions in check all tournament after the death of her former boyfriend, but the 6-4 1-6 6-1 win for the 36th-ranked Kalinina prompted Sabalenka to smash her racquet violently into the court.

Sabalenka’s former boyfriend - former NHL player Konstantin Koltsov - died at a Miami resort before the tournament. The pair had been in a relationship until very recently and Sabalenka only announced they were no longer together following the tragedy.


Sabalenka issued a brief statement on March 20 saying her “heart was broken” by the “unthinkable tragedy”, but has otherwise remained out of the spotlight and hasn't been doing any media in Miami. She scored a gutsy win over good friend Paula Badosa in the second round, but that left little in the tank physically, mentally or emotionally for her battle with Kalinina.

Aryna Sabalenka, pictured here in action against Anhelina Kalinina at the Miami Open.
Aryna Sabalenka in action against Anhelina Kalinina at the Miami Open. (Getty Images)

Once Kalinina broke in the third, Sabalenka’s focus and composure deserted her and her opponent took full advantage. When her return wide gave Kalinina the match, the 25-year-old bowed her head, took a few steps then flew into a rage, venting her frustration by smashing her racquet to pieces at centre court.

“It’s always tough to play on big stages against these top players," Kalinina later said. "Today was really tough with nerves, but I managed in the tough moments to deal with it. So I’m a little bit proud of myself today.

"I missed a lot of opportunities, she started to play more aggressive in the second set... she stepped in and did some incredible, like, very fast rallies. But third set, yes, I was also more aggressive. That was my goal.”

with agencies

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