De Minaur through to ATP Tour 500 final

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Washington Tennis

Alex de Minaur has won three three-set matches at the Citi Open to reach the final

Alex de Minaur has boosted his reputation as one of the brightest young talents in tennis by reaching his first ATP Tour 500 final in Washington DC.

The 19-year-old Australian survived four match points in an epic 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 Citi Open semi-final victory over fellow young gun Andrey Rublev to set up a showdown with defending champion Alexander Zverev.

"I'm incredibly proud of myself. I dug deep," de Minaur.

"I just couldn't see myself going any further but I kept pushing myself, kept trying every single point and managed to turn that around.

"That's probably the best win of my career."

The victory sets up the biggest match of his career against 21-year-old world No.3 Zverev in the ATP World Tour's youngest final since Rafael Nadal met Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells in 2007.

De Minaur (19 years and 173 days) is the youngest player to reach the decider of an ATP Tour 500 event since Zverev (19 years 59 days) at Halle in 2016.

It's de Minaur's second appearance in an ATP Tour final, having reached the decider at the lower-tier Sydney tournament in January.

Seeking his first title, he can emulate a feat of his mentor and Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt, the 2004 Washington champion, if he wins.

"It would mean a lot. At least I could say I'm on the same page in one tournament with Lleyton," De Minaur said.

"But tomorrow's going to be a very tough match against a very high-quality opponent and I'm just going to try and recover and leave it all out there again."

The final appearance continues a dramatic rise for de Minaur in 2018.

He started the year ranked No.208 but he's set to crack the top 50 for the first time when rankings are updated on Monday and will go to No.33 if he beats Zverev.

The German is seeking a third title of 2018 after becoming the first player this year to win 40 matches on tour with a 6-2 6-4 semi-final success over Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas.

"I'm playing great here," Zverev said.

"Hopefully, I can continue to do so (Sunday) and hopefully in the next few years, as well."

All four semi-finalists at the Citi Open - Zverev, de Minaur, Rublev and Greece's Tsitsipas - were 21 or younger.

It is the first time four players of that age have reached the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour event since Buenos Aires in 1995.

"I think I'm the only one that's allowed to buy a drink in the US, right?" Zverev said.