In the normal world, tennis fans would’ve been preparing for the start of the 2020 French Open this week.
Alex de Minaur has levelled Australia’s Davis Cup quarter-final against Canada, fighting back from a set down to beat Denis Shapovalov.
Alex de Minaur has fought back from a set down to keep Australia’s Davis Cup hopes alive with a magnificent 3-6 6-3 7-5 quarter-final win over Canada’s Denis Shapovalov.
Australia’s captain Lleyton Hewitt’s decision to rest Nick Kyrgios for the opening singles rubber backfired after John Millman lost 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 to Vasik Pospisil and when Shapovalov stormed through the first set the signs looked ominous.
But what de Minaur lacks in in physical power, he makes up for it with grit, fight and determination as he hit back to win the second set after being blown away in the opener by the mercurial left-hander.
Rocked by the Australian’s fightback, the world No.15, who beat de Minaur in the 2016 junior Wimbledon final, fell apart, hitting a series of unforced errors to surrender the initiative to the Sydneysider.
De Minaur has now won all three of his singles rubbers and will hope to put his feet up until Saturday’s semi-finals if John Peers and Jordan Thompson can win the deciding doubles rubber.
With Felix Auger-Aliassime failing to recover from an ankle injury the undermanned Canadians must again rely on Pospisil and Shapovalov in the doubles against John Peers and a rested Jordan Thompson.
Peers has been passed fit to play after pulling up with an elbow issue in Tuesday’s doubles match against Belgium.
Mystery surrounded the late scratching of the in-form Kyrgios, with Tennis Australia officials merely saying the 24-year-old had not been nominated.
Millman started well against the huge-serving Canadian, breaking his serve in only the second game of the match.
However, the 29-year-old broke back to level the set at 4-4 and then saved two set points to take a tense tiebreak.
Millman struggled to deal with the Pospisil’s power game in the second set and while he gamely hung in the set, he was unable to hold serve at 5-4 down and the Canadian forced an error to seal victory.
He had been a spectator for the first two ties of the tournament but it was announced an hour before the start of match he would replace Kyrgios.
Kyrgios, the world No.30, had been in superb touch in the opening two singles rubbers against Colombia and Belgium, hurling down 38 aces in just four sets.