Alex de Minaur in sad situation with Katie Boulter amid stellar form after Aus Open

The Aussie tennis star has bounced back brilliantly after his heartbreak.

Alex de Minaur and Katie Boulter.
Alex de Minaur and Katie Boulter had to spend Valentine's Day apart. Image: Getty

Alex de Minaur has bemoaned the fact he didn't get to spend Valentine's Day with girlfriend Katie Boulter, but it hasn't affected his form at the Rotterdam Open. Playing in his first official tournament since the Australian Open, the Aussie No.1 surged into the quarter-finals with wins over Sebastian Korda and David Goffin.

De Minaur was too good for Goffin on Wednesday (Thursday Aussie time), winning 6-3 6-1 to move into the final eight of the ATP 500 event. It wasn't quite a Valentine's Day massacre, but it provided a boost for the Aussie star missing his girlfriend.

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De Minaur and British No.1 Boulter weren't able to spend Valentine's Day together due to their tennis schedules. "That's the tough part of the tennis tours, that we didn't get to spend some of these special days together," de Minaur said this week, admitting he would have fancied a romantic dinner with his lady.

He posted a previously-taken photo of himself and Boulter relaxing by the pool in Capri on social media, writing: "Happy Valentines Katie Boulter. Can we go back already!?"

Alex de Minaur bounces back after Australian Open heartache

De Minaur moved to 8-2 in 2024, continuing some stellar form that took him into the world's top 10 before the Australian Open. He has since dropped to 11th after his heartbreaking loss in the fourth round of the Australian Open, but can climb as high as ninth if he wins the title in Rotterdam.

The 24-year-old hasn't shown any signs of a lingering hangover after his crushing five-set loss to Andrey Rublev at Melbourne Park. It marked the fourth time in his career that de Minaur has fallen in the fourth round of a grand slam, and he's only ever made the quarters once (US Open 2020).

De Minaur's win over the 33-year-old Goffin - a former top-10 player - was even more convincing than his victory over Korda in the previous round. He cracked 12 winners and only had eight unforced errors in his 82-minute victory, winning 69 per cent of his first-serve points and breaking the Belgian's serve six times.

He did give up a couple of breaks in the opening set, but managed to recover and was way too good for Goffin. His biggest rival in Rotterdam is Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner, who beat Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3 6-3 to make the last-16.

Runner-up in Rotterdam last year, Sinner is hot favourite to go one better this time. However he says his Melbourne Park success has heaped new expectations on him.

"It's a little bit different (playing as a grand slam champion) and you have to be prepared for your opponents to know you better and know your weaknesses more," the 22-year-old said after winning for the 25th time in his last 27 matches, including 11 in a row. "You have to be prepared to work hard and be ready."

The Italian will play Gael Monfils in the quarters. The French wildcard earlier defeated Denis Shapovalov of Canada 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5).

Alex de Minaur, pictured here at the Rotterdam Open.
Alex de Minaur in action at the Rotterdam Open. (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka breaks two-year drought to reach quarter-finals

Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka has reached her first quarter-final in nearly two years at the Qatar Open. The former World No.1 was given straight passage into the final eight after Lesia Tsurenko had to withdraw due to injury.

It marks Osaka's best result since she reached the final of the Miami Open in April 2022, where she lost to Iga Swiatek. The four-time grand slam champion only returned to the WTA tour in December after the birth of her daughter.

Swiatek also breezed into the last eight with a 6-1 6-4 victory over Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia. She will face two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, who continued her dominance over Latvian eighth seed Jelena Ostapenko in a 6-0 6-3 thrashing. Third seed Elena Rybakina came through three tough sets against Emma Navarro to prevail 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 6-4.

with AAP

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