Rafael Nadal turns it on late to see off a relentless Alex de Minaur!

For two sets of tennis Alex De Minaur was the better player.

The 20 yearly was simply relentless in his shot making as he continued to press the world number one. All the traffic was coming off the racket of the Australian who gave Rafa nothing to work with.

It was a very good performance in defeat. He hit a lot of flat balls towards Rafa and kept traffic away from his forehand in the opening couple of sets.

Alex’ tactics were really good but there was a couple of problems. Rafa began to hit cleanly off the backhand find the centre of the racket and De Minaur didn’t face a break point in his opening ten service games.

There was just something at 5-6 which told me, Nadal was finally going to break and at this point he didn’t look back.

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Rafa just found his rhythm and there was nothing Alex could do.

I said during the match I don’t think Rafa has been at his best throughout the tournament by any stretch of the imagination and it has been a bit of a huff and a puff from the world number one who knows that won’t do against Djokovic on Sunday.

There was a moment in the third set where De Minaur looked around the crowd in the Ken Rosewall Arena and looked devastated but he should and can be extremely proud of his efforts today and during the event.

 

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