#NextGenATP contender Alex de Minaur continued his impressive start to the season with a stunning 6-4, 6-4 upset win over fourth seed Milos Raonic at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old Australian backed up his first round win over Steve Johnson in impressive style to topple 2016 champion Raonic in one hour and 34 minutes. Describing the win as a ‘tremendous high’, De Minaur pointed to his levels of self-belief as a key factor in pulling off such a great win.
“You've got to into every match believing that you can win,” said De Minaur. “I just go out to every match the same, trying to play my game and leave it all out there.
“That way you're going to get yourself into a lot of matches and get yourself a lot of opportunities. It's all about taking those small opportunities, which I feel like I did today, and it helped me get the biggest win in my career.”
The wildcard took full advantage of his opportunity with three breaks of the Raonic serve to secure his place in the final eight where he will meet fellow #NextGen ATP talent Michael Mmoh.
“I played him (Mmoh) in juniors. I know him quite well. It's going to be a very fun match [with] two young guys battling it out. [It] can't get much better than that. I'm really looking forward to it and we'll see what happens,” said De Minaur.
Riding high off the confidence of his first ATP World Tour victory in the first round, American Mmoh upset eighth seed Mischa Zverev 6-2 5-7 6-4. The 19-year-old started well, cruising through the first set, but he didn’t have it all his own way as Zverev fought back to take a tense second set before establishing a lead in the decider.
Mmoh would not shy away from the challenge though, fighting back from break point down at 1-3 to level at 3-3 before breaking in the tenth and final game of the match to clinch a landmark victory.
“It was a rollercoaster of a match,” said Mmoh. “[There were] a lot of ups and downs and emotions and it was a battle the whole way through. I’ll never give up. I’m a great competitor and I’ll fight until the last point and that is going to be something you will see as long as I am playing tennis.”
Now, with no seeded players remaining in the bottom half of the draw, Mmoh is well aware of his chance to make a first ATP World Tour semi-final appearance and will look to reverse the fortunes of his loss to De Minaur in the 2015 US Open juniors.
“You don’t play an 18-year-old in the quarter-finals of ATP World Tour 250 event too often. It’s going to be a good match.”
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