Alex de Minaur has offered a reminder of why he’s still Australia’s No.1 men’s player by outplaying compatriot Jordan Thompson in the Miami Open.
Thompson, currently the national No.4, is among a host of Australian players in the top-100 who are battling to close in on world No.28 de Minaur in the rankings.
Yet the 23-year-old was in no mood to let any of his advantage at the top slip as he took just 68 minutes to beat his fellow Sydneysider 6-2 6-3 in Saturday morning’s second round encounter.
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After breaking Thompson in just the third game of the match, de Minaur, a model of solidity, was in command throughout, going on to grab each of the five break points he gained during the fifth match between the two mates.
The only time No.78 Thompson, 50 places behind de Minaur in the rankings, looked set to make a fight of it was when it was effectively too late as de Minaur reeled off seven games in a row to race into a 4-0 lead in the second set.
Facing a swift capitulation at 5-1 down, Thompson reeled off the next two games, including his only break of the match, to give himself a chink of light.
But the No.25 seed de Minaur broke him for a fifth time to 15, finishing with another thunderous forehand that Thompson stretched in vain to counter.
De Minaur’s fourth win over Thompson set up a last-32 clash with either No.3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or American J.J Wolf, who were playing later on Saturday.
Saturday’s match of the day saw Daniil Medvedev beat Andy Murray in clinical fashion 6-4 6-2.
With his new coach Ivan Lendl back again, watching on from Murray’s box at the Hard Rock Stadium, the 34-year-old two-time winner had plenty of support but Medvedev didn’t give him one break opportunity.
“I’m happy that I managed to have zero break points against me. I feel like I have some room for improvement, but it was a great match against an amazing player,” said Medvedev, who must reach the semi-finals to retake the world No.1 spot from Novak Djokovic.