With Alex de Minaur coming back from a set down to beat the current champion of the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal, in the United Cup.
At the Adelaide International, qualifier Alexei Popyrin defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime, a new Canadian superstar, to set a new career best.
Three years ago, De Minaur lost to Nadal in three sets at the ATP Cup, the tournament’s predecessor.b
But he didn’t want to do it again at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.
De Minaur broke early and often, including winning six games in a row in the second set.
Despite Nadal serving at a lower height throughout the match, losing shot speed as the match progressed.
The 22-time slam champion’s critical errors ultimately cost him dearly.
As de Minaur broke at 5-5 in the decider to win 3-6 6-1 7-5 in a memorable match for the 23-year-old.
After defeating then-No. 3 Daniil Medvedev at the Paris Masters last year.
This was the Australian’s second victory over a player in the top five, making it his eighth victory over a player in the top 10.
However, Nadal’s record of 1-6 in his last seven matches
He only won a dead rubber against Casper Ruud in round-robin play at the ATP Finals—is troubling.
After Nadal’s 2022 campaign, which had started off so well with slam titles at Melbourne Park and Roland Garros.
Fell apart due to injuries that forced him to withdraw before Nick Kyrgios’ semifinal match at Wimbledon.
Nadal “hasn’t played close to that level since then,” as Nine commentator Jim Courier explained, in only his tenth match since that forced exit.
We had never seen him miss rally shots like that before, so it was uncomfortable to watch him miss.
In his first United Cup match, Nadal lost to Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in three sets.
On Monday night, De Minaur made the first move, converting the only break point and taking a 3-2 lead after taking advantage of a Nadal double fault.
However, de Minaur gave the break back with two double faults, including one at 40-30.
After that, it was all Nadal as he rallied from 40-0 down in the Australian’s next service game to win the first set 6-3.
However, the Australian lifted just as he was about to look out of it, making the set a slog in his favor.
De Minaur survived a lengthy service game of his own to take a 4-1 lead against Nadal after earning four break opportunities and converting the last in consecutive service games.
Nadal began to unravel, astonishingly giving up yet another break and not playing in his usual manner.
“Searching for easy routes, right? Additionally, shortcuts require risk-taking,” Tim Henman stated on Nine.
De Minaur attempted to serve out the second set from a 0-40 deficit, but he saved all three break points to win 6-1.
However, Nadal quickly recovered, holding to love to begin the third and final set and earning four break points.
But de Minaur saved all of them to tie the match at 1-1.