Aussie tennis star Alex De Minaur crashes out of Stockholm Open just one game short of 53-year record in a ‘brutal match from beginning to end’
- De Minaur has fallen to Holger Rune in a ‘brutal’ Stockholm Open semi-final
- The Aussie started strongly before the Danish teenager ground out a tough win
- It meant de Minaur has fallen short of breaking a 53-year record for Australians
Aussie tennis star Alex de Minaur has fallen agonisingly short of a 53-year first after a ‘brutal’ semi-final loss to Danish teen sensation Holger Rune in the Stockholm Open.
The 23-year-old was chasing his second ATP title of the season in Sweden, but fell to Rune 6-4, 6-7 (1-7), 5-7 in what he described as a ‘brutal match from beginning to end.
All had looked on course for the Sydneysider to make it to another hardcourt final when he took the opening set and led 3-1 in the second during Saturday’s last-four encounter with the young Dane.
But Rune’s steel, evident all season with this remarkable 19-year-old, dragged him back into the contest, eventually emerging victorious after a gruelling contest that lasted two hours 52 minutes.
Aussie Alex de Minaur looks to slice one in his ‘brutal’ semi-final loss to Dane Holger Rune in the Stockholm Open
It was a huge anti-climax for de Minaur, who’s been in fine form all week at the Royal Tennis Hall in the Swedish capital, easily accounting for Canadian superstar Denis Shapovalov, American JJ Wolf and Benjamin Bonzi to cruise into the semis.
The popular Aussie won Atlanta Open in July and was gallant in the US Open before beating Andy Murray at the Laver Cup – and is playing some of the best tennis of his career.
If he’d made it to Sunday’s final and won, as many were expecting, it would have been a 53-year first for an Australian: with no player from Down Under winning the tournament in its entire history.
Not only that, but de Minaur would have regained the domestic No.1 spot that Nick Kyrgios has annexed during his stellar year.
Alex de Minaur, pictured with girlfriend Katie Boulter, has been in fine form this season but unfortunately fell just short of taking out the Stockholm Open
Instead, it’s the rising Rune who’s reached his third ATP final of the year by outlasting de Minaur in a classic contest.
He’s now won his past five matches that have gone to a deciding set; a wonderful testament to his fight and durability.
‘It was a brutal match from the beginning to the end,’ Rune said after the match.
‘Super long rallies. Really exhausting. He takes the ball super early and puts you under a lot of pressure but I was able to raise my level towards the end of the second set and I started a bit better than expected in the third.
‘I am super happy with how I fought until the end.’
It really was a spectacular comeback from the Dane.
In such good form was he in during the middle of the match, the youngster dropped his set in the middle of a point but STILL managed to win the point in entertaining scenes.
De Minaur, as ever, could not be faulted for fight either as he roared back from 3-0 and 4-2 down in the final set but though he tried to take the initiative, Rune’s own attacking instincts prevailed as he cracked 45 winners to the Australian’s 24.
Despite the fact he couldn’t quite manage to take the title, de Minaur will be stoked to have recorded his fifth top-20 win of the season in Stockholm.
Rune, who started the season outside the top 100 but is now No.27, will face top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the championship match after the Greek needed just 74 minutes to ease past Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2, 6-2 to maintain his unbeaten record at the event he won in 2018.
Danish teen sensation Holger Rune celebrates about beating Aussie Alex de Minaur in the semi finals of the Stockholm Open
‘We are both big fighters,’ said Tsitsipas of Rune.
‘He’s someone that has been developing and doing well recently. We have played plenty of times against each other, more on the practice court, and I’m looking forward to that battle.’
It will be Rune’s third career final after the future star beat world no. 3 Alexander Zverev enroute to his first ATP title on the clay courts of Munich last year.