De Minaur defeat costs him chance to take on Medvedev
May 1, 2023 / 10:34 pm
Alex de Minaur has been beaten by qualifier Aslan Karatsev in the Madrid Open.
The Australian world No.19 went down 6-3 4-6 6-4 to the Russian, who is ranked 101 places below him, but is a former top-20 player.
The two-hour 16-minute contest seemed to be swinging de Minaur’s way when he broke at 5-4 to win the second set. But Karatsev broke on the fifth game of the deciding set and despite forcing deuces in both the tenth and 12th games the ‘Demon’ could not find a way to break back.
De Minaur could have set up a last-16 match against Daniil Medvedev, who came from a break down twice in the final set to beat fellow Russian Alexander Shevchenko a 4-6 6-1 7-5 on Monday.
“He played well. He’s young, so I’m sure he’s going to (move) up the rankings, especially if he plays like in this tournament,” Medvedev said of the 96th- ranked Shevchenko, who was making his main-draw debut in Madrid after coming through qualifying.
The 22-year-old Shevchenko, who appeared to struggle with cramps toward the end of the match, took a 5-1 lead in the first set but went down 5-0 in the second. He then led 2-0 and 4-2 in the decisive set.
Francis Tiafoe’s poor start to the European claycourt season continued with a 6-1 7-6 (7-2) defeat to Argentina’s world No.67 Pedro Cachin. The American world No.11 lost in the opening round in Barcelona last month.
Cachin will now play German lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff who moved into the last 16 with a 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-3 win over Dusan Lajovic.
There were also routine wins for Stefanos Tsitsipas and Taylor Fritz over Sebastian Baez and Cristian Garin respecivley.
AAP (C) 2023
Australian No.1 Alex de Minaur has lost to Aslan Karatsev in Madrid, beaten 6-3 4-6 6-4. (EPA PHOTO)