2021 Viking International

De Minaur steams into final to give Kwon finishing lesson

No.2 seed yet to drop a set ahead during his dream week

Alex De Minaur went one step better than last week’s foray at Queen’s Club, by reaching the Eastbourne final with a stylish 6–3 7–6(2) success over South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo.

The Australian no.1, who was a shock semi-finalist on the grass at Queen’s Club, will have set his heart at arriving at SW19 with his maiden grass court title. He seems a good outside bet to cause problems at Wimbledon, as long as he doesn’t fall a victim to fatigue.

Next for the 22-year-old is tackling Italian no.3 seed Lorenzo Sonego, who defeated worn out Australian world no.283 Max Purcell in three sets.

De Minaur has yet to drop a set at the tournament, comfortably seeing off Brit Liam Broady in the 2nd Round and sweeping aside Bahamas-based Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

He was back in the swing of things on the Devonshire Park grass, playing on Court 1 instead of Centre Court, to race away with the opening set.

The second set saw Kwon, who only played two matches to reach the last four as he was a lucky loser from qualifying and filled a seeded player’s place, show more guile and speed around court.

It came as no surprise that the encounter went into a tiebreak, which De Minaur secured with a memorable point. He showed remarkable balance to avoid touching the net, when he was chasing down a shot, then stormed back to retrieve a lob before thundering a backhand winner to claim a deserved and expected victory.

De Minaur admitted: “I got lucky there because I was very close to touching the net, but I was able to play a great point.

“I’m playing some great tennis, love playing on the grass courts and feeling very welcomed here at Eastbourne.
“My plan is to go deep at Wimbledon, as that’s what I’ve been working on.”

De Minaur has been drawn against US rising star Sebastian Korda in the 1st Round at Wimbledon, but first he has the little matter of facing the resurgent Sonego on Centre Court at Devonshire Park for a shot at glory.

Result | De Minaur defeated Kwon Soon-woo 6–3 7–6(2)

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