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Sport Australian Open: Alex De Minaur, Ash Barty fall short at Sydney International, but the future is bright

15:40  13 january  2018
15:40  13 january  2018 Source:   msn.com

Australian Open: Alex De Minaur one to watch after win over Fernando Verdasco at Sydney International

  Australian Open: Alex De Minaur one to watch after win over Fernando Verdasco at Sydney International Australian teen sensation Alex De Minaur's sizzling form has continued with an upset win over Fernando Verdasco in the opening round of the Sydney International. Fresh off his stunning form in Brisbane, where he reached the last four in stunning style, the 18-year-old produced a comprehensive 6-4, 6-2 win over the Spanish world number 40.

Both Alex De Minaur and Ash Barty found themselves on the wrong side of the post-match photos, forcing a defeated grin rather than beaming a victorious smile, but even before their Sydney International finals had been decided, they’d won over much of the tennis world.

Alex De Minaur and Ash Barty miss out on glory at the Sydney International , but their grit and class has the tennis world on notice and Aussie fans dreaming of the future .

Ashleigh Barty of Australia.© AAP Image Ashleigh Barty of Australia.

Though a Saturday in Sydney that promised so much failed to bring two breakthrough titles, there's a sense Australian tennis is on the verge of something big.

Both Alex De Minaur and Ash Barty found themselves on the wrong side of the post-match photos, forcing a defeated grin rather than beaming a victorious smile, but even before their Sydney International finals had been decided, they'd won over much of the tennis world.

Barty's afternoon battle with the rejuvenated Angelique Kerber was far from a walkover, with the red-hot German a deserved 6-4, 6-4 winner.

The 21-year-old Aussie made more errors than she usually would, perhaps a by-product of big-stage nerves, but Barty more than looked like she belonged in a WTA final against one of the biggest names in the women's game.

Ashleigh Barty to meet Daria Gavrilova in Sydney International semis ahead of Australian Open

  Ashleigh Barty to meet Daria Gavrilova in Sydney International semis ahead of Australian Open <p>Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty has booked a Sydney International semi-final showdown with compatriot Daria Gavrilova after a convincing win in the last eight.</p>The 19th-ranked Barty showed why she entered the summer as Australia's number one player after dominating an error-prone Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-2 on Ken Rosewall Arena.

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And, crucially, she knew it.

"I felt like it was a pretty good level," Barty said. "To be honest, I felt like I probably played some of the better tennis that I have this week.

"And Angie is on fire. She's such a competitor and makes you work so hard for each point."

Sydney International: Alex de Minaur through to semi-finals with win over Feliciano Lopez

  Sydney International: Alex de Minaur through to semi-finals with win over Feliciano Lopez Alex de Minaur continued his stellar 2018 form with a straight-sets win over Feliciano Lopez.Another day, another victim for 18-year-old Alex de Minaur, who has blasted his way into the Sydney International semi-finals after downing an opponent twice his age.

Sydney International : Alex De Minaur falls at final hurdle as Daniil Medvedev wins first title. Fittler sets coffee date with Aussie tennis ace. The future of Australian tennis is bright with Ash Barty and Alex De Minaur .

Australian Open : Alex De Minaur , Ash Barty fall short at Sydney International , but the future is bright . Australian Open 2018: Daria Gavrilova beats Irina Falconi in first round. Barty out to join Australia 's Open party.

De Minaur's frustration will be more acute. Unlike Barty, he had a significant grip on his clash with Daniil Medvedev — the teenager completely dominated the first set, and was on top in the second before the Russian flicked a switch.

But on the night, what was even more impressive than De Minaur's speed, touch or aggressive ground strokes was his heart. Seemingly down and out at 4-0 in the third and with Medvedev playing inspired tennis, he pulled a comeback from nowhere.

It was as if De Minaur had spent his formative years watching Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios receive extreme criticism for lacking that very trait, and was hell bent on showing Australia, at the first possible opportunity, he was something different.

Perhaps not since Lleyton Hewitt has a young Aussie male chased down lost causes and turned around extreme deficits as impressively as De Minaur did on this night. That he eventually succumbed to an exhausting defeat was to the immense of credit of Medvedev, himself a young player of great potential.

Hewitt's advice for young gun De Minaur

  Hewitt's advice for young gun De Minaur The youngest person to reach the Sydney International final since Lleyton Hewitt in 2000, 18-year-old Alex De Minaur has been given some words of wisdom by his Australian mentor. Set to contest his first ever ATP final against Russian Daniil Medvedev, De Minaur has started 2018 with a bang to defy his world no.187 ranking. © Sporting News Lleyton Hewitt, left, and Alex De Minaur. Hewitt, who won the Sydney International in 2000 as a teenager and again in 2001, has been keeping a close eye on De Minaur who's taken advice from Hewitt very much to heart.

He doesn't have the serve, power or flair of Kyrgios, not by a long shot, but you get the feeling a match between the two of them, with the stakes raised, would be a hell of a sight.

And it's not just Australia that was left impressed.

The emergence and improvement of these two, along with Daria Gavrilova and Kyrgios, are a welcome tonic for Tennis Australia. Too often over the past few years has controversy and complaint reigned, but the conversation now seems to be turning back to the court.

An Australian Open beckons, and a golden opportunity looms for these young dynamos to turn a summer of promise into something historic.

The future of Australian tennis is bright with Ash Barty and Alex De Minaur .
Only one of them progressed through to the second round of the Australian Open, but both Ash Barty and Alex De Minaur have shown Australia that the future of tennis is very bright indeed. 21-year-old Barty defeated the shrieking Aryna Sabalenka 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 to book a second-round match with Italian Camila Giorgi, while 18-year-old De Minaur went down fighting against world no.20 Tomáš Berdych, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1.Barty is currently Australia's equal highest ranked tennis player at 17th in the world, sharing that honour with the divisive Nick Kyrgios.

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